What events trigger a review of documents in estate planning?

After Nevada residents have finalized arrangements for the disposition of their property after death, they often believe that there is nothing more to do. However, when it comes to estate planning, periodic reviews need to be made of the documents to ensure that they continue to meet an individual’s estate planning goals. If they do not, changes can be made to bring them in line with changes in the person’s life or the law.

The biggest changes often surround the relationships in a person’s life. People get married and divorced, children are born and family members die. A once strained relationship with a child could be repaired, or in the alternative, a parent and child can become estranged. These types of major life changes could affect who receives an inheritance and who does not. For example, few people would want an ex-spouse to inherit money from them upon death, but that could happen if the documents remain unchanged after a divorce.

Furthermore, financially centered changes can also occur. Changes in the estate tax laws could necessitate a change in an estate plan. A significant increase or decrease in income could require substantial modifications to the plan. Occupational changes, starting or selling a business and even retirement can trigger the need to make adjustments to an estate plan.

However, without periodic reviews or reviews triggered by certain events, the original documents will continue to govern how surviving family members will handle the estate after the individual passes away. Fortunately, estate planning is often able to keep up with the major changes that can occur in a Nevada resident’s life. The law allows the documents to be modified, added to or changed in their entirety if necessary.

Source: wmur.com, “Money Matters: The ‘final’ estate-planning step“, Marc Hebert, Aug. 11, 2016

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