Many New Hampshire residents think once they make their estate plans they no longer have anything to worry about. Little do they realize that there are situations in life that can occur that make it beneficial for them to regularly revise their estate plans. People who do not revise their wills as needed to reflect their current wishes take risks with their estates. If you want to avoid having your estate tied up in probate court and subject to other complications, you should learn why it is so important for you to update your estate plans often.
Legal change in relationship status
Changes in relationship status, such as marriages and divorces, can have a significant impact on your estate plans. Divorce does not automatically prevent your former spouses from inheriting from your estate when you die. It also does not allow your new spouse to automatically inherit. To prevent ex-spouses from inheriting, you should update your estate plans to reflect your new relationship status once it is legally finalized. You should also change your last will and testament when you get remarried to ensure your new spouse inherits from your estate.
Addition of family members
If you have stepchildren or biological offspring, you should assess your beneficiary selections every few years to prevent problems and keep from disinheriting the wrong people. When children are born, you should update your will to include the names of people you want to become their guardians when you die. You should also include instructions for any assets you want your children to inherit.
Changes in assets and finances
Your finances can change in a heartbeat. Estate plans written five years ago may no longer be an accurate reflection of your current estate. You may have acquired or gotten rid of several businesses and increased or decreased your wealth during that time. Estate plans that reflect your current wealth and have an accurate accounting of your assets can help prevent confusion, tax complications and keep your beneficiaries from fighting over your assets.
Illness and injury
You may want to consider planning for the unexpected if you should become ill. Your estate plans should reflect your wishes regarding your medical care. You should also designate someone to act as your power of attorney to handle your finances if you become unable to do so yourself.
There are many things that can happen in life that can alter the outcome of your estate plans. If you update your estate plans regularly, you can ensure your final wishes are honored. Many people often need assistance when drafting and revising their estate plans. If you have any concerns about estate planning, you should consider speaking an attorney for guidance.