Even though none of us wish to think about our mortality, it is important to make sure that your wishes are honored and those you love are taken care of after you’re gone. Having an estate plan in place will help with this, but remember – life keeps changing! Keeping your plan updated on a regular basis allows for all the complexities such as relationships evolving or probate increasing over time to be accounted for so that everything runs smoothly when the inevitable happens.
It is important to keep your estate plan updated because relationships can change in a variety of ways. Divorce, death, or falling out with friends are just a few examples of how relationships can shift and evolve. As such, it is imperative that you update your estate plan as soon as any major changes happen so that your property will be distributed according to your wishes. Likewise, if you have a beneficiary listed on your account, make sure that the beneficiary is still someone who you would want to benefit from your estate in case of an unexpected event. It is also important to keep both family and friends informed about any changes made to an estate plan as well as any updated information regarding where assets and accounts are located.
Probate Can Be Complex
Having an updated estate plan in place can make the probate process much smoother and easier for your heirs. Probate usually takes months as it is; you can simplify it by having a clear path laid out. An up-to-date estate plan can ensure that all debts and taxes are paid off, any disputes that may arise can be handled quickly and efficiently, and the assets of your estate can be distributed as you wish. Without an updated plan in place, probate can become increasingly complex for your heirs who will be left to deal with the burden of sorting out your affairs after you pass away.
Life Circumstances Change
Finally, life just happens. Beyond changes happening to people in your life, your own circumstances can change quickly as well. Illness, injury, and other medical complications can move plans up or require scaling your own adventures down. You might need to move into a smaller home or a better location; your business or investments might falter or exponentially increase. All these things can have a major impact on your estate, and every one of them should be taken into account as part of your estate plan. Keep that plan updated often as you move into your later years.
As unpleasant as it may be, planning for a future without you is essential to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of. Having a current estate plan in place can bring you and those close to you immense comfort, knowing everything has been accounted for. If life has kept you from creating an appropriate plan or if yours needs updating, now is an ideal time to act with due diligence. An experienced attorney will help craft a personalized strategy tailored specifically to meet your individual requirements while providing security that the inevitable process continues exactly as desired.
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