Have You Had a Change in Your Life Recently?

If so, you may want to revise your estate planning documents to reflect these changes. Here are some situations when your Living Trust and Will should be updated.

You get married. Jointly held property will pass to your spouse automatically upon your death. You should update your Will and Trust to pass your separate property as you intend.

You get divorced. You should update your living trust and will after a divorce so your assets are distributed to your intended beneficiaries. And don’t forget to check other documents for beneficiary designations, such as IRAs, life insurance, and 401K accounts.

You acquire or dispose of assets such as real estate or stock. If you obtain new assets and you want to leave them to someone specific, or if you’ve sold or gifted certain assets, you may need to update your will and living trust to reflect this.

You’re single, but have a significant other. Without a will or living trust, your partner generally won’t inherit any of your assets.

You have a baby. You need to name a personal guardian and trustee in your legal documents – someone to raise the child and manage the money in the event something happens to you and your spouse. The guardian and trustee can be the same person or different people.

You have new stepchildren and you want them to inherit assets. Blended families often require extra thought when it comes to legal documents, and unless you legally adopt your stepchildren, they have no right to your inheritance. If you want to leave them a share of your assets, you need to update your will and living trust to reflect your wishes.

Don’t forget Durable Powers of Attorney and Patient Advocate Designations. If you get married, divorced, have a significant other or the person(s) you have named as your agents for financial or health care decisions are deceased, you will need to update these documents as well.

Excerpts taken from Article from EHTC Newsletter dated December 13, 2017.

If you have any questions on estate planning, please call Karen L. Stewart, Attorney and Counselor at (248) 735-0900. For more information, please see my website, www.customestateplans.com.