Most of us in Louisiana hope to pass away only after living a long, full life, but there are no guarantees of that. Due to the uncertainty, it is important that people have an estate plan in place even if they do not think they will need it for a long time.
However, this also means that people’s estate plans may be created at a young age and be in place for many years.
Over the years, our lives change. When people initially create an estate plan, they do so based on the relationships that they have at the time. Years later, they may find that what they wanted to happen with the initial estate plan may no longer be what they need.
This is why it is important for people to periodically review and update their estate plans.
While periodic reviews of estate plans are important, major life events by themselves create a reason to update an estate plan.
Events that may require a review of an estate plan
These events include, but are not limited to:
- The addition of children, grandchildren or dependents
- When children reach adulthood and have different needs
- Deaths of beneficiaries named in the will or guardians of children named in the will
- A representative passes away or is no longer able to act as a representative
- Serious health problems for the testator or their spouse
- Marriage or divorce
- The purchase of a new home or other large assets
- Large increases in wealth
- The beginning or ending of a business
When major life events occur, such as the ones listed above, they change people’s needs in an estate plan. The same is true for major life events that occur to people named in a will or trust, such as the heirs and beneficiaries.
Changing estate plans can be as complicated as the initial creation of the will and consulting with experienced attorneys could be helpful.