It’s wise to draw up an estate plan every several years or after significant events such as divorce, marriage, childbirth, or adoption. Even if a person has not experienced any of the above events since they last created an estate plan, tax laws may have changed or financial circumstances could dictate the plan be re-evaluated.
Childbirth or Divorce
A person’s wishes as to property distribution can change from one year to the next, especially after certain life events. For instance, if a person gets divorced, they may not want to leave everything to their spouse as they did while still married. In some areas, will provisions for ex-spouses can be ignored, with the rest of the will being followed. In other areas, wills created before a divorce will be invalidated after the divorce takes place.
Adoptions and births are other events that require additional estate planning. Even if children are already provided for in a will, it is best to update the document with every birth. An estate planning attorney will recommend that each child be named in the will to avoid problems later.
Beneficiary Marriages and Deaths
Other events requiring estate planning are marriages and deaths of executors and beneficiaries. Most states provide that a statutory share of assets should go to surviving spouses and, if this goes against a person’s wishes, they’ll need a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This area is of special importance for those in second marriages who have children from the first marriage. In such a situation, the person may want to provide for their spouse but ensure that most assets go to their children. Without help from a probate lawyer in Azle TX, the current spouse’s family could end up with most assets.
Changes in Wealth and in Wishes
Financial situations change over the years, as do tax laws. Some changes may mean a need for additional estate planning. People should also re-evaluate their wishes periodically, as some find they’ve changed their minds on a variety of issues. If a person wants to name a different executor or put a beneficiary’s bequest into a trust, they’ll need the help of a probate lawyer in Azle TX.