An estate plan is a critical tool that every Florida adult should have. It provides protection, direction and closure for the person creating it and those affected by it. And while it is critical to create an estate plan, it can be equally important to review and modify it from time to time.
There are some especially poignant events that can warrant a review of your estate plan and possible changes.
- If you move: Relocating to a new home or a new state can change the assets you have to distribute as well as the state laws that govern estate plans. Florida taxes and estate planning laws can differ from those in other states, so updating your will and other documents after moving is prudent.
- If you get married or divorced: A new or former spouse can have an impact on who makes decisions for you and what happens to your property if you pass away. Thus, updating your decision-makers, property distribution wishes and beneficiaries can be critical after marriage or divorce.
- If you have kids or grandkids: Expanding your family expands the number of people affected by your estate plan. If you do not update your plan when you add a child or grandchild to your family, you could increase the risk of will contests and probate challenges by any party left out of an estate plan.
- If your finances change: Whether you sell property or come into a windfall of money, updating your plan accordingly is critical. Keeping your list of assets and liabilities current makes the probate and distribution processes easier for your loved ones.
- If your wishes change: Over time, your wishes regarding charitable contributions, trust allowances and end-of-life care can shift. To ensure your estate plan continues to reflect your beliefs and values, you can make revisions to your estate plan.
After these and other significant events, updating your estate plan may not be your top priority. However, these occasions mark an excellent opportunity to do so.