We know that there is so much going on in your life right now. From social distancing to remote working to kids being out of school, you have a lot on your plate. If you add into that caring for an aging parent or grandparent, or even yourself, you may find yourself at your wits end. We understand these challenges and want you to know that your Florida estate plan should not be “one more thing” that causes you stress. Instead, especially now, it should be a tool that provides you and your family with peace of mind.
How do you know, however, that your estate plan is where you need it to be? Is it time to update it? We understand this question. While many attorneys determine a specific time for revision, in our blog, we would like to discuss life triggers with you and the changes that may need to be made to your estate plan as a result.
While some of these changes can be joyful, such as welcoming a new child or grandchild, other changes can be concerning. In the latter instance, you may have received an unfortunate diagnosis or lost a job. In both the happy and challenging circumstances, it may result in the right time to re-evaluate your estate plan. Let us share a few more examples with you.
1. Moving out of state. Every state has unique estate taxation laws. Depending on how your estate is structured, the move could put you at a disadvantage. An estate planning attorney will be able to help you make the appropriate changes to protect your assets.
2. Gaining or losing a family member. If you have new beneficiaries, you might want to change how your estate is divided. Conversely, if you lose a family member, you need to consider that as well, especially if that person was your agent or personal representative or trustee.
3. Getting divorced or remarried. Many married couples have what is called a “sweetheart” will, where spouses leave everything to their surviving spouse outright. If you get divorced, it would be prudent to change this directive as divorce can have the same effect as death on your plan. On the same tack, when you remarry, you will likely want to make provisions for your new partner or create a prenuptial agreement with your estate planning attorney.
4. The value of your estate has changed. If the value of your estate has either increased or decreased, you need to review your decisions and decide whether or not they still make sense, considering the new circumstances.
5. Your agents need to change. Your agents are the people you entrust to implement your estate plan, so it is critical to ensure they are all willing and able to do the job. Advanced age, infirmity, or a change of location could, ultimately, impact the success of your plan.
We know that this blog may raise more questions than it answers. In short, if you have experienced any significant life changes, we encourage you to make an appointment with us. We look forward to creating or updating the right estate plan for you.