A lot can change over the course of a year, and as a result, you should get in the habit of reviewing your estate planning documents on a regular basis — annually if possible. There will be numerous times in the course of your life that you will have to update your estate planning documents (Wills, Trusts, Health and Financial Powers of Attorney,Living Will and HIPAA Release, etc.), for example, you get married or you move to another State. It is suggested you review your documents yearly to ensure they still meet your needs. Whenever you experience a significant change in your life, there is a likelihood that your estate plan will be affected. Therefore, when change happens, check with your estate planning attorney If you have never executed any estate planning documents, do not delay, as the documents make your wishes known, give direction to your appointees, and can avoid future court procedures, like a guardianship.

Estate planning documents need to be reviewed frequently. A change, such as a marriage, may mean that you have a new spouse to consider regarding inheritance, your Last Will & Testament and other estate planning documents.

When you marry, it is essential to consider children from a previous marriage. You will want to ensure that your new situation is addressed in your estate planning documents. It is always suggested that you visit an estate planning attorney when you get a divorce. Chances are you will not want your ex-spouse to remain in your estate planning documents.

It may be in your best interest to sign a separation agreement as soon as possible stating that you both relinquish any rights to the other’s estate (as well as other specifications) and then file your divorce decree the moment it is legally possible.  Changing your estate planning documents will ensure that your ex-spouse is not listed as an agent to make financial and medical choices for you. If they are still listed, unless they pre-decease you, become incapacitated, deny the appointment, or are unable to serve for any reason, your ex will be authorized to make financial and health care decisions for you. The remedy is to update your estate planning documents as soon as possible The birth of a child is always time for celebration, however, once the party is over, you should again review your estate planning documents and visit with your estate planning attorney.  Your estate planning is a way to protect your spouse and children after your passing and only you can assure that your family is protected by ensuring that your estate planning documents are up to date. When you are considering the purchase of a new home, your estate planning attorney should be contacted to review the manner in which you should take title to your home. This estate planning tool, how you take title to the deed to your new home, needs to be considered in your estate plan and can ultimately save your estate money. If you are a seller of a home, your estate planning attorney should be contacted to review any tax implications.

Many of us have executed our documents years ago, and are hesitant to update them due to the cost. In most situations, the cost of updating estate planning documents is cheaper than finding out your documents are not sufficient, the statutes have changed, or you no longer want the named people to serve. Updating your documents will give you peace of mind that your wishes are known and the people you so choose are named.

If you would like the estate planning attorneys at Kadoch Law Group to review your current estate planning documents, call today for a free consultation. We will review your documents, make suggested changes (and additions) and tell you what it will cost. If you wish us to proceed, we will then make the necessary revisions or updates. Our phone number is (954) 713-9423.