Executing an estate plan is an important step toward taking control of one’s end of life planning. Through an estate plan, a Maryland resident can explain how they want their assets and property divided amongst their loved ones, friends, and even charitable organizations. Estate plans give instruction about end-of-life care, financial control, and even guardianship of minor children. To this end, a state planning can serve the interests of all adults.
Some people may believe that once they have an estate plan they are done with the process. Though estate plans can stand for many years, there are events that may necessitate modifying them to match the creators’ needs. This post will discuss some of those events and what individuals should do to update their estate plans. No legal advice is offered herein and all readers with questions about their estate plans can take their concerns to their trusted estate planning attorneys.
Changes in families
One of the main reasons that an estate plan may need to be updated is through a change in the structure of the individual’s family. After the birth of children or a divorce from a spouse, an individual may wish to update their estate planning documents to reflect those inclusions or exclusions. Similarly, after a marriage, an individual may need to modify their estate planning documents to ensure that their spouse is not left out of their plan.
Changes in preferences
Another reason that an individual may choose to update their estate plan is because of a change their preferences on who is in charge to their end-of-life care and estate distribution. A falling out or disagreement with a loved one may cause an individual to want someone else in charge in the administration of their estate. Estate plans can be changed and should be changed when it is in the best interests of their creators.
Changes in wealth
A final reason that an individual may wish to update their estate plan is to accommodate increases in wealth that may expose them to additional tax liability. Estates over certain thresholds can be taxed when individuals die. Through estate planning, individuals can assess their wealth and implement strategies to limit their tax liabilities at the time of their deaths. An estate planning attorney can help an individual understand these and other relevant financial considerations.
Estate planning is not a one-time event. The documents that make up an estate plan are fluid and can be modified when necessary. It is in the interests of an individual to ensure that their estate plan is current and accurate. If it is not, they can take their questions and needs to their trusted estate planning lawyer.