Estate planning is an essential task for every adult. Wills, powers of attorney, trusts and living wills make your intentions clear for what should happen if you become incapacitated and after your death.
While you should periodically review your estate plans to ensure they are up-to-date and in line with your current wishes, you should promptly evaluate your estate plan after certain life events.
When your family changes in size
As your family grows, you should review your estate plan to include your children as heirs and beneficiaries in your will. You will also need to establish guardians who will care for your children in the event of your passing. If your children are minors when you die, they cannot directly inherit, so a trust is necessary.
After a divorce
A divorce is often a stressful experience as you separate your life from your spouse. As spouses are usually named as executors and powers of attorney in estate planning documents, you should revisit your estate plan after divorce to choose new people to fill these important roles. If you have children, you may want to name new guardians if you are no longer comfortable with the choice of guardianship made with your former spouse.
Estate planning is not limited to just wills and trusts. When you choose to alter your beneficiaries, be sure to revisit all types of documents where you must name such people. Add or remove people from life insurance, retirement accounts and investments accounts as needed too.