Birth, Marriage, & When to Update Your Estate Plan 5 Major Events

Estate plans are strategic tools that can help you maintain control of your possessions and assets should you meet an untimely demise or become incapacitated. Carefully done, estate planning in the UK will not only help you protect your family’s and loved ones’ interests, it can also help reduce fees, time delays, and taxes that are associated with inheritance and transfers of ownership.

However, estate plans typically reflect your state of mind, situation, and financial goals at a particular point in time. As such, it should be regularly updated to accommodate any life changes that are difficult to anticipate. Here are five examples of major events that should trigger an update to your estate plan:

  • Divorce, marriage or death – Any of these events should trigger a substantial change to your estate plan and should cause you to re-evaluate your beneficiaries, personal representatives, executors, trustees, successor trustees, as well as your attorneys under lasting powers of attorney.
  • Birth, death, or adoption of a child/grandchild – The addition or death of a young family member may call for certain changes in your will such as educational plans, gift trusts, and similar types of accounts that are directed to minors.
  • A change in your financial status – Whether it be a negative or positive change in your financial status and/or stability, your estate plan should always follow suit. Changes should be made accordingly in the event of a business sale, professional and/or business success, retirement, medical crisis, receipt of an inheritance, or even a bankruptcy or perhaps receiving lottery winnings.
  • When trustees or executors suddenly become inappropriate – Your previous appointments may suddenly become inappropriate due to untimely death, changes in your circumstances/relationships, or when a better choice comes up.
  • A change in your location – Estate laws may vary depending on your current location or perhaps the location of your assets. Purchasing property in a different area or country, may likewise affect the way you should treat asset distribution or your strategies for property transfers.

If any of the above circumstances apply to you, it is time to talk to a professional estate planner and consider an update to your will and estate plan.