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“Life Changes” Mean “Estate Plan Changes”



Talk to any estate planning attorney you hear some tragic procrastination or penny-wise dollar foolish stories; deceased divorcees who forgot to change their insurance beneficiaries; expensive incapacity battles for control over an estate; probate battles for control of a “family” plot, etc. And of course, there are many renown deceased celebrities without an estate plan that lead to expensive court battles resulting in at least one thing in common, avoidable attorney’s fees.

Many people who put together an estate plan usually do so when they start a family - assuming they put an estate plan together at all during their lifetime. While putting an estate plan together is a good thing to do, many people make few updates once the plan has been created, despite other key life events happening over the years. This is a major mistake that can place your hard-earned money and assets into a costly probate or into the wrong hands.

To make sure you do not run into these issues and your wishes are followed in the event of your death or incapacity, below are nine life decisions or events that should get you thinking about updating -- or creating -- your estate plan right away.

Important Life Decisions

There are several important life decisions that you should factor into your estate plan. They include:

  • Getting married: Estate planning after tying the knot does not have to be complicated. Simply updating your beneficiary information, purchasing a life insurance policy, and updating emergency contact information are all things that should happen right away. You should also consider preparing a will and a living will. As your marriage progresses, it may make sense to consider a revocable trust as well. Having discussions with your spouse about how you want your estate to be managed depending on different scenarios is also important.

  • Getting divorced: While couples do not plan for d