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Estate Planning Triggers

Having an estate plan is crucial to ensuring that your assets go to the right people, but as life happens, things change and so should your estate plan. Below we’ve outlined some events that may trigger a review and tell you why it might be time to revisit your estate plan.

Marriage. A lot of big changes happen when you decide to join your life with someone else’s, including the distribution of assets and designation of fiduciaries. Upon getting engaged, you and your partner should determine if you want a prenuptial agreement, review your separate and joint assets, and determine who you want your assets to go to in case you or your spouse should pass away. Based off of these factors and the prenuptial agreement, an estate plan that satisfies both parties will need to be created.

Children. There are many things you and your partner must consider before having a child and two main planning points will be who will take care of your children if you both pass away and who will manage assets for the benefit of the children. An estate plan needs to be created or updated to determine who the legal guardian should be, how much of you and your partner’s assets will go for your children’s benefit, at what age your children will inherit these assets, and if your child/children will receive these assets all at once or if they will be received over a period of time.

Retirement. When setting up a retirement fund such as 401k or a Roth IRA, beneficiaries are named upon setting up the account. This means that there’s a chance the beneficiaries on your respective retirement accounts could be decades old. If you plan on retiring at some point, you must look at your total retirement assets and update your beneficiaries and estate to reflect an updated version of who you want the rest of your retirement assets to go to when you pass.

These major life changes demand estate plan updates, but you don’t have to wait for a major change to begin setting you and your family up for financial security. The more preparation you do now, the better off your loved ones will be in the event that you unexpectedly pass away.