Life Events that Should Trigger an Update to Your Estate Plan

Life Events that Should Trigger an Update to Your Estate Plan

You’re the proud owner of a legal Will and you should be. After years of accumulating savings, you’ve taken good action steps by creating an estate plan. This an important personal goal and should now not be forgotten about.

While having all your estate planning documents completed and secured in a safe place is an accomplishment, legal documents do require revisiting, especially when milestone life events occur. The following are key life events that should prompt you to make changes to your will:

The Purchase or Refinance of Property

Real estate is an asset. Whoever is named on the title and mortgage will end up with the property if jointly owned when one person passes. If singly owned, you’d still want to have a beneficiary named in your will, and/or have the property put into a trust because laws vary for each state.  Having property held in a trust can protect its value from creditors or taxes when sold.

Getting Married, Divorced, or the Death of a Spouse

Often when people marry, they assume the spouse will inherit all assets. Survivorship laws vary state by state, with each state including the District of Columbia having its own laws that decide who inherits what when someone dies without a will.  When marital status changes, your will must be updated to avoid probate and assets going to someone you didn’t intend them to.

Opening a New Brokerage, Savings, or Insurance Account

Will require you to name a beneficiary. This is an opportune time and necessary requirement to declare who you want to receive these assets when you pass.

Birth or Death of a Child

Having a child through adoption, birth, or fostering is a joyous occasion and requires naming a guardian for your child in your estate plan. This declaration provides protection for your child in the unforeseen circumstance you pass before they reach adulthood. If your child passes your will needs updating to reallocate the estate distribution and renaming beneficiaries on all accounts.

Moving to a New State

Because each state has different intestate succession laws, you need to update your will when moving to a new state.  Remember too, those laws can change and is another reason to use an estate planning attorney in the state you reside when updating your will.  Click here for a list of each state’s intestate succession laws.

Hear From Our Clients

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce