Creating a Houston estate plan is a great first step in ensuring a person’s assets and wishes are managed after their passing. However, without frequently reviewing the estate plan and updating it as needed, the process will not go as smoothly as anticipated. Many people are unaware of when an estate plan should be reviewed or updated. Below are some common questions people have about reviewing an estate plan, as well as specific instances that precipitate the need to update the plan.
A New Addition to the Family
Often, young families will create an estate plan and name their children as beneficiaries. However, additions to the family – such as a new child or grandchild – will often be overlooked as a beneficiary if the estate plan was created before their arrival. Because of this, people should update their estate plan after a new addition, so the new family members are named and specifically included as beneficiaries. This process may also include changing the estate plan to remove individuals from the will, either due to death or divorce in the family. Because family dynamics are constantly changing, it is important estate plans are regularly updated to ensure it reflects the current family structure and dynamics.
A Person’s Assets Have Changed
Estate plans should be revised if there is a significant change in the value of the estate, or if the assets contained in the estate plan have been altered. Because people will often sell assets included in their estate plan before their passing – such as a piece of property or a business – the estate plan is now outdated, as the asset can no longer be given to the beneficiaries. Another reason to change the estate plan is if a person has bought another piece of property they wish to give to their children after their passing. Whether the estate’s value has significantly increased or decreased since the plan was drafted will often prompt people to want to change how the assets are now divided. Estate planning attorneys will reassess the estate plan and help individuals to decide how assets will be managed after their passing.
How Often Should My Estate Plan Be Reviewed?
In addition to updating an estate plan due to one of the above situations, an estate plan should be reviewed every three to five years. Because estate planning attorneys stay up to date on any changes to state law that governs estates – such as tax law or powers of attorney – they can advise clients of any necessary changes that should be made to the estate plan.
Do You Need to Update Your Houston Estate Plan?
If you or a loved one needs their estate plan updated or revised, contact the Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. We have helped clients from all backgrounds and varying net worth create – and update – estate plans that meet their specific needs. Our attorneys are here to answer any estate planning questions you may have and to make sure your wishes will be properly fulfilled upon your passing. To speak to an estate planning attorney today and to schedule a free consultation, call us at 713-333-8900.