Once an estate plan has been established, people may assume that they don't need to worry about it anymore. However, there are several major life changes that may require someone to examine their plan to ensure that it is still appropriate for their new circumstances. These changes can include things like having children or moving to another state. Additionally, if the law changes, people may also want to review their estate plan.
When a couple has a child, there are two changes they are likely to want to make to their estate plan. Along with ensuring that their child is named a beneficiary of their assets, it is also a good idea to name a trusted person to care for the child if the parents die or are otherwise unable to do so. Moving to another state can also have implications for someone's estate plan because laws may vary from state to state, particularly in relation to estate taxes.
If state or federal laws change, people may also want to alter their estate plan. Along with changes to estate tax exemption limits, laws related to how trusts can be formed or managed and how or if charitable giving is taxed can also require someone to change their plans.
It is important to note that estate planning is not just about determining who will get someone's assets and how they will be dispensed. Estate planning can also allow people to choose a trusted individual to make choices about their health care when they are not able to. A lawyer could explain the pros and cons of using certain estate planning documents and draft them for a client as well.