Years ago, you went to a lawyer and drew up a will, trust and other documents so that your family would be financially secure if you should suddenly pass away. That is the right thing to do, but have you taken a look at your estate plan lately?
If you do, you might be surprised how out of date some of the things in your plan are. You may have heirs or beneficiaries who are no longer in your life – or there are people you love who are not mentioned. Here are four reasons you might need to amend your estate plan.
1. Changes to your family. Since you and your lawyer created your estate plan, you might have gotten divorced and remarried, and have taken on stepchildren. But your will only mentions your ex-spouse.
2. Changes to your financial circumstances. If you have gained or lost significant assets since set up your estate plan, the way your plan is structured may need to change for tax reasons.
3. Your executor/trustee no longer is right for the job. Your designated executor and/or trustee may have passed away or become too ill to handle this important responsibility. Or maybe someone else has now grown up, and you would rather they take care of it.
4. You moved to Missouri. Estate planning law changes from state to state. If you established your plan while living in another state, you should check with a Missouri estate planning attorney to see if anything needs to be adjusted to get in line with local laws.
If you believe your estate plan needs to be updated, don’t try to do it yourself. An experienced estate planning attorney who knows the law will help you get it done right the first time.