Just like your body, your estate needs a checkup at certain important points in your life.
Here are the absolutely necessary milestones at which you should check in with us to make sure your estate plan is in tip-top shape:
- Beginning or Ending a Serious Relationship: Whether it’s dating, cohabitation, marriage, or divorce, the beginning or the end of a serious relationship means that your goals, desires, and concerns need to be addressed. It’s especially important upon marriage or divorce because there are dramatic changes happening to your finances and goals.
- Having Children: Having children changes everything. It is vital that you make sure they are provided for and protected. This may mean designating your children’s guardian, purchasing life insurance policies, or creating a trust for their benefit.
- Children Growing Up: Once your children are no longer minors, your goals and primary concerns will likely change, and you will likely have more disposable income. You can now shift your focus to providing for your retirement, and you need to adjust your estate plan accordingly.
- Having Grandchildren: The birth of grandchildren brings a wonderful new role and the possibility that you want to provide for their future and/or education. Life insurance policies, education funds, or trust accounts may come in handy, gift tax may become an issue, and you may want to make changes to your will.
- Moving to a New State or Downsizing: Any time you move to a new state, you need to have a local attorney review your estate plan because each state’s laws are different. If you’re downsizing, you may also want to review expenses and investments.
- 5 Years Before Retiring: Perhaps the most important estate planning milestone is 5 years prior to retirement. Do not wait until retirement to make these decisions and adjustments because many useful tools will then be unavailable. This is the time to do a complete review of budget, investments, annuities, and long-term care.
- 7. Retiring: Upon retirement, you’ll need another check-up to make sure that your estate planning tools are still current and your goals are still fully addressed.
- Major Life Changes: Any major life changes should encourage you to check in with us on your estate plan. These major life changes could include changes to your marital status, agents, beneficiaries, health, or wealth. Don’t leave anything up to chance when something changes.
Keep in mind that estate planning and tax laws are constantly changing.
You should never go longer than 5 years without talking to us to make sure your estate plan is still in good shape.
Hammerle Finley Law Firm. Give us a call. We can help.
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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.