You’ve already set up an estate plan, but it’s been years since you looked it over. You have gone through many changes in your life, losing a parent, getting married and having children.
At this point, it’s a good time to review your estate plan. Since time has passed, laws may have changed. Additionally, there may be new beneficiaries you want to add, guardianship to discuss and other issues that need to be addressed. Here are three things to address now in your estate plan.
1. Review who you have making important decisions for you
Since it has been several years since you last reviewed your plan, the first thing to review is your health care proxy and power of attorney. You should make sure that those you chose to make important decisions for you are still willing to do so. If you’ve lost a loved one or moved, you may want to change whom you have assigned to those roles.
2. Set up guardianship for any new children
Another thing to think about is guardianship. If you have a young child who has come into the world since you last updated your estate plan, then consider adding a guardian. You may want to set your sibling or a good friend as a guardian for your child if you and your spouse pass away, for example, so that they don’t end up going into the foster system or having to wait for someone to step forward and seek guardianship.
3. Remove people who have passed away or who no longer speak with you
In the past, you may have had a good friend set up as a guardian for your child or as a beneficiary. You might have had your ex-spouse set up as a beneficiary of your insurance and the majority of your estate. Perhaps one of your parents was set up to be your health care proxy. If the people you had set up as beneficiaries, guardians, health care proxies or placed in other important roles are no longer alive or speaking with you, it may be time to remove them from your estate plan.
Your attorney will go over your estate plan and give you suggestions about new laws or things you may want to consider. You don’t need to review your estate plan too often, but since you have had major changes in your life, now is a great time to consider doing so.