Life events prompt the need to modify an estate plan

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Many Pennsylvania residents put aside their discomfort with discussing their own demise in order to provide for their loved ones after they are gone. After completing the task, the documents might be put away for safekeeping, never to be seen again. However, an estate plan often needs reviewing and modifying after major life events.

For example, Pennsylvania residents who divorce need to review their estate-planning documents and make any changes needed in order to protect their heirs' inheritance from the divorce and any potential divorces in the future. For those who remarry and have children from a prior marriage, changes to an estate plan can guarantee that the assets destined for those children end up with them. Speaking of children, when they are born, or when a child is adopted, provisions should be made for them as well.

If a beloved family member suffers an illness or injury that causes a permanent disability, changes can be made to provide for them since they might need additional assistance. Beyond providing for loved ones, estate plans also function to avoid hefty estate tax bills that could diminish the assets of the estate. Tax laws change often, and if a change impacts an individual's estate plan, the documents should be changed to accommodate the new laws.

Some might say that the best thing about estate planning is its versatility. All or part of an estate plan can be modified as needed to accommodate these and other changes in an individual's life. Even during those times when life does not change, a periodic review is a good idea just to be sure that the documents continue to reflect a person's needs and desires.

Source: Forbes, "6 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan As Soon as Possible", Mark Eghrari, Jan. 2, 2017


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