Anytime you go through a major life event or milestone, it is important you review your estate plan to ensure it is up to date and properly reflects your current life circumstances and goals. Whether it’s a marriage, a divorce, the birth of a new child, a new job or a big move, anything that you would classify as a significant adjustment to your life should prompt you to take another look at your estate planning documents.
The following is a quick checklist of reviews and changes you may need to make to your estate plan after a major life event:
- Alter your will: Some events will cause you to want to make changes to your will. Examples include the death of a beneficiary, the birth of a new child, a marriage or divorce, the purchase of new (and valuable) property or the launch, purchase or sale of a business. Your will gives you the ability to leave property to chosen beneficiaries in the manner of your choosing.
- Policy and account beneficiaries: Any insurance policies or accounts you have that require you to list a beneficiary-such as a life insurance policy or retirement account-should be up for review if you either get divorced from your chosen beneficiary or if a beneficiary passes away.
- Guardianships: Whenever you have or adopt a child, it is important you review your will and add guardianship stipulations. This ensures your child will be protected and cared for according to your wishes in the event of your passing.
- Business succession: Many business owners include succession plans in their estate planning arrangements. If circumstances have changed among your partners or if your chosen heir to your business is either no longer interested or available, it is time to revisit your documents and make some changes.
- Estate executor: Your executor should be someone you trust completely to be organized and get the job done according to your wishes. If your executor passes away or if changing life circumstances make you feel someone else would be better suited to the role, then you should make those changes as soon as possible.
For more information on reviewing and making changes to your estate plan after a major life event, meet with a skilled estate planning lawyer in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Steven K. Hardy concentrates his practice in estate planning at BoltNagi, a widely respected and established estate and trust planning law firm, serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.