Making sure that your estate plan is up to date will allow for your wishes to be fulfilled after your passing. This can be done only if your estate plan is regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. Below is a brief overview of when and why you should review your documents.
Birth of a Child
After a birth of your child you should review your documents to ensure that they are included in your estate plan and get the share of your estate you want them to get. Most estate plans are created so that even if you have more children later on they should be included. However, if you created your estate plan before your first child, your beneficiary choice will most likely change. Also, becoming a parent means that you should add language to your plan that will appoint guardians for minor children in case both parents pass away.
Most states, including Ohio, have laws that say that after divorce or legal separation, ex-spouse is not entitled to benefit from your estate. However, there may be circumstances where not updating your documents can cause problems.
No Legal Separation
If you do not have legal separation or divorce but decided to live separate from your spouse, after your death your spouse may still try to benefit from your estate and may be entitled to at least some of your assets if your documents are not updated properly.
If you get remarried after your divorce you want to make sure that your current spouse is included in your estate plan.
If your initial estate plan was done before you got married, you may want to make updates to it to include your spouse.
Death of Someone in Your Current Plan
If you had any distributions or specific bequests going to someone who predeceased you, you may wish to update your documents, making the distributions to someone else. Also, if the person you chose as an executor passed away, you should review your documents to ensure that you have another person listed as an executor and feel comfortable with having them serve as such.
Moving to Another State
Estate plan laws are not nationwide. While an estate plan from one state may be acceptable for probate in another, there is also a risk of ineffectiveness or the court rejecting it if it does not comply with that state’s laws. You should ensure that you have a plan created that complies with the laws of the state in which you reside.
Major Change in Assets
If you acquired a major asset(s) after creating your initial estate plan, it may be a good idea to update your plan taking that new asset into consideration. It may cause changes to your distribution plan or require you to do more extensive planning to ensure that all your assets are properly protected.
Current Plan is Ineffective or Inappropriate
If your relationship changed with the people you have named in your documents, it may be necessary to update them accordingly. If you do not speak anymore with the person whom you named as the executor or your power of attorney, you should consider finding another individual with whom you will feel comfortable serving.
We Can Help
Also, if you have an estate plan that does not address all your needs, whether they relate to your burial wishes, guardianship requirements or any other matters related to estate planning, it is time to consult with an attorney who can help to ensure your wishes are met.
Call Sobon Law, LLC today at (216) 586-4246 to schedule your consultation.