Why Reviewing Your Estate Plan Is Important
Updated: Mar 16
Now that summer vacation is over and the kids are back in school, it is a great time to review or move forward with your estate planning. Because an estate plan is not just a single document but a comprehensive set of several legal documents, it is important to regularly review 3 things.
3 things to review
Your Family needs
Also, heads up: The week of October 18-24, we will be posting 1 estate planning tip per day- that’s 7 helpful estate planning tips on the following topics:
Day 1: Who Is Going to Feed Fido? (Pet trusts)
Day 2: Who Gets Your Louboutin shoe Collection? (Beneficiary Designation)
Day 3: Do You Really Want a (cookie cutter) Will? (Personalized planning)
Day 4: “Stairway to Heaven” or “Ave Maria” (or neither)? (Communicating burial preferences)
Day 5: Will They Spend It All on Convertibles & Partying? (Provisions for Minors)
Day 6: Why You Should NOT Name Your Children as Beneficiaries on Your Life Insurance!
Day 7: Your medical WISH list (Healthcare planning)
Tune in and check us out on social media @sultanattorney for all 7 TIPS!
Here are some important elements of your estate plan to review:
The beneficiary designation form is a crucial document for accounts and other assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. If these documents are not completed properly, an unintended person could end up with the money, completely unraveling your estate plan! As a result, it is good to review these documents regularly to make sure that the correct beneficiary is named. Life can change quickly, and updating beneficiary designations is sometimes the last thing on anyone’s mind.
In many states, a parent or legal guardian has the ability to appoint a temporary guardian for a minor child in a separate document (other than the will) for a limited period of time. This allows the appointed temporary guardian to make decisions on behalf of the minor, without court involvement.
This document comes in handy for example if you are going out of town and the minor child(ren) are staying with a close friend or relative for a period of time. It’s also a good idea to appoint a temporary guardian close by if family or your appointed legal guardian lives far away and may not be available right away. However, this appointment is usually only good for a period of (up to 12 months in some states) and therefore needs to be signed regularly, so make sure to review your temporary guardianship status yearly.
Ownership (title) on property
How your own property can greatly impact how/if your family inherits that property…
Life changes unexpectedly. It is always a good idea to regularly update your estate planning documents to make sure they reflect any changes that have occurred in your personal life or in the law. In some cases, it can be beneficial to schedule a meeting with us to review the documents together. If there have been any marriages, divorces, deaths, births, or other changes in your family, as well as a change in your job or property and other assets, this can impact your estate plan. Without an update regularly, your estate plan may no longer reflect your wishes…It is crucial that the instructions in your estate plan reflect your current life status wishes.
Schedule a meeting with us
We are here to offer peace of mind to you and your family while you are alive and to your loved ones after you have passed. If you do not currently have an estate plan, we are here to guide you and help craft a plan that will protect and serve you and your loved ones best.
About the Author
Leslie has been practicing law since 2009 and is the host of the estate planning podcast 'Legacy Purse'. She has a long history of representing family members struggling to inherit property and/or wealth from deceased family members through the Probate Courts. Knowing how time-consuming and expensive the probate process is, Leslie takes great pride in helping her clients learn how to plan and protect their families during their lives so they can avoid the probate court process and save their loved ones that additional grief (and expense).