Lisa Galvan Law, PLLC Blog

Friday, May 15, 2015

When is it Time to Update Your Estate Plan?

Too often, we view estate plans as time capsules; documents that, once established, can be locked away for safe keeping, never to be opened again until needed. Merely having an estate plan does not mean your work planning for the future is done, however. As life circumstances change, so should the documents that spell out your final wishes to your descendants.

At Lisa Galvan Law, we offer a lifetime of estate planning support to people and families throughout the San Antonio area. Here are some instances when updating your estate plan is likely a good idea:

Divorce or New Marriage

Because spouses are often primary beneficiaries, a change in your marital status requires significant changes to your estate plan. If you have recently divorced, you will want to ensure that your ex-spouse is removed as a beneficiary. New marriages, on the other hand, give you a wide range of estate planning options that are not available to single individuals. In addition, you will want to be sure that you are updating the beneficiaries of all life insurance plans and retirement accounts.

Beneficiaries Reaching Adulthood

Estate plans created when your children are young may need some updating when they reach adulthood. Life circumstances often change rapidly for people in young adulthood, so you may want to allocate different responsibilities and assets to your adult children. You may want to create different plans for children who have moved away versus those who has stayed nearby. Other estate plan options, such as trusts, may be more appropriate for children at different stages of their lives.

New State and Federal Laws

Laws surrounding inheritance and estate planning are constantly changing. Working with a lawyer, you can stay up to date on new laws or potential changes that could impact your estate planning documents and accounts. If you have recently moved to Texas, you may want to check to see that the laws applying in your previous state also apply here.

Major Life Changes

Sometimes, life throws a curveball that you had not expected. If you have had a significant life change, such as a new job, relocation, inheritance, or the opening of a business, you will need to update your estate plan to better align with your circumstances. A new small business, in particular, will require a business exit plan and a plan to manage the business should you die or become disabled.

The Passage of Time

All plans need to change with the times to stay effective. Changes in tax law, new beneficiaries, beneficiaries who have passed away, and a range of other factors can all significantly impact your estate plan. If it has been a few years since you last updated your estate plan, it is likely time to visit your attorney to get things up to speed.

If you are seeking to update your estate plan, contact Lisa Galvan Law. We help individuals and families throughout San Antonio create and continually update estate plans for a lifetime of changes.

Lisa Galvan Law, PLLC is located in San Antonio, Texas and serves the following surrounding counties: Bexar County, Medina County, Comal County, Wilson County, Atacosa County, and Kendall County.

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