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5 life changes that impact your estate plan

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Estate Planning

Life is unpredictable, and as we navigate through its twists and turns, it is important to recognize how various life changes can significantly impact your estate plan.

CNBC reports that only 33% of Americans have an active estate plan. As your life changes, your estate plan should evolve with it. Understanding which major life changes have an impact of your estate plan helps you keep the document up to date.

1. Marriage

When two individuals decide to share their lives through marriage, it is not just a personal union but also a significant change in their legal and financial landscape. In the eyes of the law, your spouse may become your primary heir. Updating your estate plan becomes important to ensure that your assets align with your new familial circumstances.

2. Children

The birth or adoption of a child is a joyous occasion, but it also brings about a shift in your estate planning priorities. Nominating a guardian for your children, deciding on the distribution of assets and establishing trusts are important steps to secure their future in case the unexpected occurs.

3. Divorce

Sadly, not all unions last a lifetime, and divorce can have a profound impact on your estate plan. It is important to review and adjust your plan to reflect changes in beneficiaries, asset distribution and the removal of your former spouse from key roles within your plan.

4. Financial changes

Changes in your financial status, whether through an inheritance, successful investments or unforeseen setbacks, should prompt a reassessment of your estate plan. Adjusting the distribution of assets, revisiting beneficiaries and considering tax implications are important steps to ensure your plan remains aligned with your current financial situation.

5. Death of a beneficiary

The loss of a loved one named in your estate plan requires careful consideration and adjustment. It is important to update your plan to reflect this change, identifying new beneficiaries and redistributing assets accordingly.

Life is a dynamic journey filled with changes, and your estate plan should evolve alongside it. Regularly revisiting and updating your plan ensures that it accurately reflects your current situation, safeguarding your assets and providing for your loved ones in the best possible way.

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