It’s time to ring in the New Year. Are you ready? Sure, you’ve got champagne glasses and hors d’oeuvres. But, is your life plan in the condition it needs to be?

A lot can happen in a year. If it has been several years since you last revisited your estate plan, it is likely that even more has changed. While a well-drafted estate plan should be flexible enough to still work even if certain contingencies arise, changes will most likely need to be made eventually, and unanticipated life events can necessitate new or revised planning.

5 Life Events That May Require Updates or Additions to Your Estate Plan

So, should you revise your estate plan for 2020? While this list is not exhaustive, here are five of the most-common reasons why updates and additions might need to be made:

1. You Welcomed a Child or Grandchild

For many people, having a child or adopting a child is what finally gets them over the hump to put together an estate plan. If you already have an estate plan and you welcomed a child or grandchild in 2019, you will likely want to revisit your estate plan in light of your family’s new addition.

Newborn Baby

2. You Welcomed a New Pet

Pet planning is an important component of the overall life planning process. As a pet owner, it is important to ensure that your pet’s needs will always be met both during and after your lifetime. Adding a durable power of attorney for pet care and a pet trust to your estate plan are simple steps that will provide peace of mind and security for you and your pet.

3. You Got Divorced

Getting divorced almost always necessitates life planning modifications. It is common practice for spouses to appoint each other as their health care surrogates, list a spouse as the beneficiary on insurance policies or financial accounts, and to leave substantial portions of their estates to one another. Getting divorced does not automatically modify your estate plan; so, if you want to make changes, you need to take additional steps in order to do so.

Divorce Spelled Out With Scrabble Pieces

4. Your Finances Changed Significantly

If you started a new job, started a business, or received a substantial inheritance in 2019, these are all events that may warrant revisiting your estate plan as well. Do you have more to protect? Do you have more to give away? Do you need to start thinking about the federal estate tax? Addressing these questions now will ensure that you and your loved ones do not face unhappy surprises down the line.

5. You or a Family Member has Been Diagnosed with a Serious Injury or Illness

Finally, being diagnosed with a serious injury or illness is an event that causes many people to reassess their needs and reconsider their priorities. If your spouse, partner or child has been diagnosed with a life-altering condition, this may impact your decision-making regarding your estate plan as well.

Is It Time to Revisit Your Estate Plan? Let’s Talk About It.

Should you revisit your life plan in 2020? If you have questions, need advice or are ready to get started, call us at 904-329-7242 or contact us online today.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Using this site or communicating with Law Offices of Mark F. Moss, PLLC, through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship.