Is It Time to Update Your Estate Plan?

Lawyer in Raleigh NC: It's important to keep your estate plan updated with any changes in your life.

In our last post, our lawyer in Raleigh NC talked about the importance of having a living will, power of attorney and a medical power of attorney as part of your estate plan.  In this post we will discuss several times throughout your life when you may need to make changes to your plan.
Marriage or Divorce Changes in your marital status definitely need to be incorporated in your estate plan.   When you were just starting out you may have designated control of your assets to your parents or another close relative.   Once married, it would be logical to give that control to your spouse.   Conversely, if your marriage ends in divorce you will probably want someone other than your former spouse making decisions on your behalf. Eldreth & Eldreth, PLLC, estate lawyers in Raleigh NC, can assist you in transferring your estate to the people you love and limit any transfer to people you no longer have a relationship with.
Death of a Spouse Should your spouse predecease you, you may need to make changes to your estate plan.   They were likely given some control as part of your living will or medical power of attorney and you will need to choose someone to take that role in their place.    Also, any assets that were previously earmarked to go to your spouse should to be designated for other family members. Eldreth & Eldreth, PLLC understands that this is a difficult situation, and will remain sensitive throughout the process in effectuating your goals.
Birth or Death of a Child As your family grows you may choose to make specific stipulations for your children.  As new children come along you will need to amend your arrangements to include them.  In the unfortunate event that any of your children should predecease you, they will need to be removed from your estate plan to avoid any confusion on how assets that were previously assigned to them should be dealt with. Eldreth & Eldreth, PLLC will assist you in protecting your children in both your life and death.
Out of State Relocation If you move into a new state, it’s a good idea to revisit your estate plan.  Aside from the obvious changes in property holdings, there may be other things that need to be changed in accordance with your new location.  Did you change banks?   Get rid of any possessions?   Even something as simple as a change in the location where important documents are kept should be noted as part of your estate plan. Laws vary from state to state, and when people move their situations may also change. Our lawyer in Raleigh NC at Eldreth & Eldreth, PLLC, can align the interests of new North Carolina residents with state laws.
Increase/Decrease in Property/ Ownership/Control of a Business Even if you haven’t moved out of state you may have acquired or sold property. Any change in your holdings requires an update to your estate plan. Or, have you recently started your own business?  Your estate plan needs to contain stipulations about what you would like to happen with the business in the event that you are no longer able to run it.   Whether you would like to pass control to a family member or have the business sold, these wishes need to be spelled out in your estate plan. Eldreth & Eldreth, PLLC takes great pride in assisting clients create comprehensive estate plans that consider a persons assets, including ownership and managerial interests in small businesses. We can assist you direct how your assets and business is taken care of when you are unable to voice your opinion.
Early signs of Terminal Illness, Alzheimer’s or Dementia As we age our views on things often change.  Should you ever be diagnosed with a terminal illness or start to suffer from signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may find that your thoughts regarding your care and who should have control of your assets may change. What seemed like an important goal when you were young and healthy might not seem as important.  It’s may be necessary to sit down with your attorney and update your estate plan as soon as possible. At Eldreth & Eldreth, PLLC, we understand that as circumstances change, so can a person’s priorities and needs. Allow us to protect you, your interests and your loved ones.
Having an up to date, valid estate plan can be critical to your well-being. These documents protect you, your family and your assets should you be unable to manage your own affairs for any reason. Remember to change your estate plan as your life changes. Contact our lawyer in Raleigh NC to get started on your updates, soon.

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