The Evolution of Your Estate Plan

As you go through life, your estate plan should change to reflect your circumstances.
May 1, 2016
Heidi Adair
The Evolution of Your Estate Plan

It is easy to put off estate planning for another day because we do not see any immediate need to have a will done. However, one never knows when a life changing circumstance will arise. An estate plan is not something that you complete once and for all. It is more of a plan that evolves with you as you mature and experience watershed events throughout your lifetime. Your estate plan may begin very simply with the following documents:

  • A simple will that indicates who you want to receive your property at the time of your passing.
  • Powers of attorney for healthcare and finances that say who is empowered to make decisions for you should you face incapacity.
  • A living will which allows you to let your family and healthcare providers know your wishes regarding end-of-life issues.

As your life continues, your estate plan will continue to evolve from the simplest plan to one that protects your loved ones from unnecessary taxes, expense and keeps things as simple for them as possible. Marriage, divorce, death, childbirth, changes in your assets or your health are all times that are important to consult with an attorney trained in the area of estate planning to discuss with you how your estate plan should continue to evolve with you.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you formulate thoughts on issues such as:

  • Do my children need any additional protection than what a simple will offers?
  • What will happen to my assets and the inheritance of my children, if I pass away and my spouse remarries?
  • Are there tax issues of which I should be aware?
  • Are there more cost efficient ways to transfer my estate to the next generation than by using a will?
  • Are there any business succession issues that should be considered while I am healthy and able to manage the situation?
  • Do all of my beneficiary designations coordinate with the distribution scheme that I have in mind?
  • How will I pay for long-term care and preserve my assets?

These types of questions can be overwhelming and cause you to put off your estate planning for another day. However, effective planning done from an early age will eliminate a lot of stress and hardship on your loved ones in the future. As your life goes on and your thoughts and desires regarding various issues become more concrete, your estate plan should evolve with you. It is important to take action and put a sensible plan into place, knowing that adjustments and revisions can be made over time.


About the Author

 
Heidi-B.-Adair

Heidi Adair, Attorney
Beers Mallers Backs & Salin, LLP
hbadair@beersmalllers.com 
(260) 426-9706 
beersmallers.com


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