Estate planning for some in Houston is a task that is often completed and then forgotten about. On July 31 we talked about the importance of revising estate plans annually. To go a step further, some authorities note that there are many individual life changes that can make a review of existing estate planning documents necessary. Certain life events can alter how a person wishes to administer their assets after their death. In such cases, if changes are not made to reflect that in an estate plan, those wishes may not be followed.
The life changes that may cause people in Houston to review their estate planning documents include the birth of a child, marriage, divorce and even refinancing a home. Each of these life changes may be significant enough to alter the desires of a person who has previously created an estate plan.
For example, in the case of a marriage, the newly married person may wish to make changes to their will or trust to better provide for their new spouse. Conversely, in the case of a divorce a person with an existing estate plan may wish to choose a new beneficiary or power of attorney. The changes in each of the life events may depend on the relationship and finances of an individual couple or family.
Many in our state have begun estate planning in order to ensure that their assets are distributed as they wish after their death. With the ever-changing tide of life, those wishes may be different than they were when an estate plan was initially created. It may benefit Houston residents who have estate plans to consider these life events as they move forward, and work with the appropriate channels to update wishes when the need arises.
Source: Forbes, "5 Life Events That Require An Estate Planning Review," Michael Chamberlain, Aug. 13, 2012