7 Life Events That Should Trigger You to Update Your Will
Our lives are constantly changing and evolving as we grow older -- we live long enough to experience love, marriage, and newborn children. However, you should consider updating your last will and testament as these changes occur. If you were to pass away suddenly, an outdated estate plan could have unexpected consequences for your beneficiaries.
Our estate planning attorneys in New Jersey want to discuss seven life events that should prompt you to lookover your will and make the necessary updates:
Life Event #1 -- Marriage or Divorce
Marriage and divorce both have a direct impact on your estate plan -- they require you to update, include or remove beneficiaries from your will. Many married couples designate their significant others as recipients of their assets after passing away. Also, when newly married, you have to consider the possibility of having children at some point.
Life Event #2 -- Childbirth or Adoption
Introducing children to your family should also prompt you to review your estate plan and update your will. That’s because you have to plan for their futures, ensuring that they’ll receive financial and healthcare protection. Dividing your estate among surviving family members should always include provisions for minor beneficiaries to receive gifts and other assets.
Life Event #3 -- Grandchildren
You should also consider setting aside an inheritance for your grandchildren. As your family dynamic evolves, it’s a good idea to think about how you want to distribute your assets among younger beneficiaries. It will give you peace of mind knowing that you can take care of your grandchildren after you pass away.
Life Event #4 -- A New Job or Promotion
You recently accepted a job offer that pays you triple the amount of money you earned before. Now that your estate is worth a lot more, you should consider updating your will. Now you can set aside more money and other assets to ensure that your heirs receive a fair inheritance.
Life Event #5 -- Death of a Loved One
Life has many pitfalls, but the death of a loved one can be particularly painful and tragic. Many married couples name their spouse as their healthcare proxy or power of attorney. A family member also often serve as the trustee of a living trust. However, when your significant other passes away, you’ll likely have to make several alterations to your will.
Life Event # 6 -- You Recently Moved
If you’re now living in an entirely different state, you should immediately begin the process of updating your will. Estate planning laws tend to vary depending on where you live -- not every state recognizes that your will is legally valid if it comes from another jurisdiction. To be on the safe side, you should make the necessary updates when you change residences.
Life Event #7 -- Receiving an Inheritance
Have recently received an inheritance? If the answer is yes, then now is the time to either create or update your will. Although you almost certainly have plans for how you want to maintain the money you received from your inheritance, making plans for how you may use this money during your lifetime and how you would like to see it distributed after you pass away is essential. Remember, one of the great things about establishing a will is the fact that it gives you complete control over how you want these assets to pass to your beneficiaries once you pass away. You could opt to set up a trust for an underage beneficiary and have a percentage pass outright to another.
Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
Here at Borenstein, McConnell, and Calpin, we ensure that families throughout New Jersey can adequately plan their estate. We provide you with the tools to protect your assets and prepare your family for the future. We also want to help you prevent unexpected changes or events from derailing your plans. Schedule an appointment with us today, and we can begin drafting estate planning documents immediately.
Getting in touch
Borenstein, McConnell & Calpin, P.C. is a Wills & Estate Planning law firm serving Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as New York City. We strive not only to give you a great client experience, but to become your trusted adviser for life. To reach Alec, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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