Keep Your Estate Plan Current
You should check your estate planning documents every so often, to make sure they’re still good, especially with big life changes like births, marriages, divorces, and moving to another state. Children grow up, marriages dissolve, property gets sold, residences change. That’s why we recommend that you consult us for an estate plan check-up at least every decade (10 years).
If you retire to another state, you should also consult an attorney to review your existing will and powers of attorney which can vary from state to state. Documents from the “old” state might not work in the “new” one, and your documents would not be there for you when you need them.
Examples of reasons why updating your documents as soon as possible after a life change such as divorce can vary. For instance, you willed your property to your spouse and appointed that person to be your power of attorney. You got divorced, but you never got around to changing your plan. The law would likely step in to prevent your ex-spouse from inheriting; however, while you are still alive, you might be stuck with your spouse holding power of attorney over your finances and health care should an accident occur that prevents you from taking care of those important decisions on your own.
Perhaps you chose to distribute your estate to your two children equally, but now one child has become financially unstable and is likely to waste their inheritance. Or, you deeded your house to one child and made a will leaving money to your other child. Then you forgot about the deed and made another will, years later that will split everything equally. Because deeds supplant wills, the child who is now the owner of the home would still receive a full share of your estate per the terms of your will. Consequently, one child might end up receiving more value than the other. A situation like this may lead to contention between your children.
If you got divorced, sold property, moved to another state, or did your documents more than a decade ago, come see us for an estate plan check-up.
Elder Law of Omaha provides a range of services to our clients including estate planning, asset preservation trusts, long-term care Medicaid planning, and more. If you would like to discuss how to plan for your future, call our firm today at (402) 614-6400 to schedule your free initial attorney consultation.
Visit our website at www.ElderLawOmaha.com.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.