Older couple sitting with estate planning attorney

When Is the Right Time to Update Your Estate Plan?

Your estate plan helps you prepare for the future, but such preparation is based on present circumstances — and circumstances almost always change. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., we remind our clients to update their portfolios at 3-year intervals to keep up with the changes that may escape their notice. We also recommend that they contact us for an update consultation if

they have recently experienced, or are about to experience a life-changing event. 

Just as you have to prepare yourself for the logistical and emotional changes brought by a wedding or birth, you have to make changes to your estate plan documents related to naming beneficiaries, planning for retirement, and protecting assets.

Life-Changing Events That Should Prompt an Update of Your Estate Plan

Changes that alter your lifestyle often necessitate alterations to your estate plan, so contact our offices if you are dealing with recent or approaching:

  • Engagement or marriage
  • Pregnancy, birth, or adoption
  • Separation, divorce, or remarriage
  • Diagnosis of a child with special needs
  • Relocation to another state
  • Incapacity of yourself or a loved one
  • Death of a close relative
  • Family estrangement or reconciliation
  • Addiction or incarceration of a close family member
  • Buying or selling a business
  • Changing careers or experiencing a major change in income level
  • Receiving a sizable inheritance

Life changes can be wonderful or painful, but either way, you have to accommodate them. Getting in touch with our capable estate planning attorneys is a good place to start.

What Does Updating Your Estate Plan Involve?

Fortunately, if you are a client of Surprenant & Beneski, you don’t have to keep track of all the documents that have to be altered when you’re dealing with a major life change — we’ll take care of that for you. Our capable attorneys will remind you of precisely what changes to your estate plan must be made depending on your particular situation. These may include:

  • Updating your will to include new beneficiaries
  • Designating a guardian for a minor child 
  • Naming a new executor (personal representative)
  • Starting a trust for a new child, grandchild, or charity
  • Taking steps to avoid probate
  • Taking steps to protect new assets from creditors 
  • Planning ahead for college or retirement
  • Making changes to minimize taxes (e.g. if you have moved to a state with higher state taxes or if you have reached a new level of asset accumulation)
  • Taking steps to avoid a potential ex in-law

Sometimes, Life Reminds Us of Possibilities We Should Consider

It doesn’t always take a major event in your own life to make you think about reasons to update your estate plan. Clients sometimes get in touch with us after facing a serious health scare or hearing that an old friend remarried and is adopting her stepchild. Such events can bring into focus how unexpected occurrences can quickly become reality. 

Maybe Now Is the Time to Update Your Estate Plan

If you find yourself wondering whether you should update your estate plan, it’s probably time to check in with us so we can advise you about whether your hunch is correct. If it is, you can count on our experienced estate planning attorneys to discuss your situation and recommend appropriate alterations to your documents. Contact us today. We will make sure that your estate plan is current so it will keep you, your family, and your future secure.