2021 is approaching! Are you ready for a new year? It's pretty clear that 2020 has been hard on everyone. This year has affected every person in one way or another. Our estate planning attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks are here to give you a few possible updates you may want to make to your estate plan in the new year, in this week's blog. Life changes every day and sometimes, some of those major changes may prompt a change to your estate plan. If you have questions you'd like answered by an experienced estate planning attorney, please call Gibbons Law Firm today. We can be reached at 573-348-2211.
Possible Updates To Make To Your Estate Plan in 2021
DID YOU LOSE YOUR JOB IN 2020?
The format your estate plan follows will depend on your overall financial situation. If you first built your estate plan when you were just starting out, you may want to update it once your career is well established and your income has increased. You may also want to consider updating your plan if you receive a significant influx of money from an outside source, such as inheritance or lottery. By the same token, a decrease in financial status may also be cause to update your estate plan.
DID YOU BUY A HOME IN 2020?
If you have recently bought a home, boat, car, or other expensive asset, we recommend you update your estate plan to reflect this new possession. You can use your estate plan to identify whom should inherit this asset after you pass, but that will not be your plan's only purpose. Assuming that you financed your purchase, your estate plan will also fill the important role of specifying how any remaining debt on this belonging is to be repaid.
DID YOU GET DIVORCED?
If you already have an estate plan in place, it is important that you update it when you get married. Though many of your belongings may be automatically transferred to your surviving spouse upon your death, it is best not to assume that this will always be the case. If you do not want your spouse to receive immediate access to some of your assets, it important to specify this in your estate plan as well. Since your desires will likely change in the event of a divorce, you will also want to remember to update your estate plan if your marriage should end.
DID YOU HAVE A BABY?
Raising children is a big responsibility. Food, shelter, clothes, guidance, support, companionship... your little ones will look to you for absolutely everything. If something happens to you, your children will need someone else to provide for their needs. So as to ensure that each child's needs will be met, we recommend updating your estate plan every time you have (or adopt) a new child. The most important aspect of this will be to appoint a replacement guardian for your children, but you can also use your estate plan to dictate how your assets should be divided among your children and at what age they should receive access to these assets.
Do You Have Questions About Your Estate Plan?
The estate planning process can be complex at times. With the constant changes you may be experiencing in your life, you may be wondering when it's appropriate to change your estate plan along with it. Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about this process. Your estate plan is very important and should be handled properly. We can be reached at the number listed below and you can follow us on our social media channels listed to see what we're discussing each week.