As we all know the only constant in life is change, and because all things are connected changes in one aspect of your life can make other modifications necessary. This is something to keep in the forefront of your thinking with regard to estate planning. Some people procrastinate for a long period of time before actually visiting with an estate planning attorney to put an estate plan in place. When they finally do take action they breathe a sigh of relief and walk away feeling as though the responsibility has been met and that it’s now a done deal.
The truth is estate planning is usually not something you engage in once and then forget about. Because your life is inevitably going to change in profound ways over the years, you’re going to have to adjust your estate plan if you want it to remain current and reflective of your wishes at any given time.
As example, one of these potential changes many people encounter is that of divorce. Approximately 50% of first marriages in the United States end in divorce these days, impacting a very significant portion of the population. If your marriage ends it is very likely you will want to change beneficiaries and otherwise alter your estate plan. And, the majority of people who get divorced eventually remarry. This too is going to call for an estate plan update, and this is especially true if you have children from your previous marriage or marriages. You never know what the future holds and there is no guarantee your new spouse will properly provide for your children should you pass away.
The takeaway here is to understand the fact that estate planning is an ongoing responsibility. The best way to address this reality is to identify an estate planning attorney that you feel comfortable working with and regularly consult with this individual to make sure your current estate plan is appropriate as your life changes over the years.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday