With the current stay-at-home order, you may find you have more time on your hands. How can you make the best use of it? With the current COVID-19 pandemic, your thoughts may be on your health. News of the serious impact of the novel coronavirus reaches us every day. More of us than ever before are considering the impact on our families should we fall victim to the virus. With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to review your estate plan.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Attorneys usually advise that their clients review their estate plans at least every three to five years. While many people think this means their wills, other documents may need updating, too. For example, you may have a power of attorney for your health care or finances. You should review these regularly, too.
Why Might My Estate Plan Need Reviewing?
There are several reasons to revise your estate plan. Some of the most common include:
- New marriages or domestic partnerships. If you have recently remarried or begun a new serious relationship, your estate plan should include your new partner. You should also make sure you no longer include your previous partner. It’s also important to ensure you provide for your children from any previous relationship.
- A change of chosen guardian for your children.
- A new child. If you’ve added a baby or child to your family, you need to add him or her to your estate plan.
- Disinheriting a child or spouse. If you’ve decided to disinherit someone, you need to make this a part of the estate plan.
- Adding or changing a beneficiary.
- Providing for stepchildren who have entered your life.
- If a beneficiary has passed away, you’ll need to alter your documents to provide a new beneficiary.
- If a beneficiary has developed an illness or special needs, your estate plan may change to provide for his or her care.
- You’ve moved to a different state with different laws.
- You’re choosing a new trustee for a trust.
- You’ve acquired additional assets that you need to decide how to distribute.
- You’ve chosen someone new to have power of attorney.
- You’ve opened a business and need to develop a succession plan.
- The tax laws have changed and have affected your estate plan.
Updating Your Documents
Have your circumstances changed, or have you changed your mind about your estate plan? Then you should certainly contact your attorney and review your documents straight away. Even if there are no changes, you should still review your estate plan regularly. Otherwise, the court could distribute your assets in a way that you no longer want. This is something you should avoid at any time, but especially in today’s challenging circumstances.
Thomas McDonald Law is on hand to help you review your estate plan. So, contact us today and make sure your estate plan is in order. Knowing your intentions will be honored and carried out after you pass away will give you great peace of mind. Florida has changed legislation to allow virtual notarization that allows for virtual estate planning to be effectuated even when you can’t leave your home.