Some New York residents may assume that once they have created an estate plan, their work planning for the future of their assets and their family is done. Even if you do not specifically think this, it can be easy to postpone reviewing and updating your estate plan. However, there are many events can make your estate plan out of date and even invalidate parts of it.
When there are major changes in your lives or the lives of your beneficiaries, such as births, divorces or marriages, you might need to alter your estate plan. If you created your estate plan when your children or other beneficiaries were minors, you should update it when they are of legal age. There may also be emotional reasons for making some types of changes. For example, you may no longer be close to the person you originally appointed as executor. When you make these changes, be sure to address beneficiary designations as well. A common error for divorced people is forgetting to update these, meaning that an ex-spouse could get your retirement and life insurance accounts.
Financial reasons and changes in the law
If there are substantial changes in the assets you own, you may also need to update the estate plan. Certain changes in the law could also necessitate a review. For example, a change in the estate plan exemption could mean you need to change your strategy.
An attorney may be able to help you with your initial estate plan or with any changes, including suggesting helpful strategies based on your family and financial situation. For example, if your main estate planning vehicle is one or more trusts, you may want to have a pour-over will that moves any remaining assets into the trust on your death.