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When do You Need to Change Your Estate Documents?

If you have a will, trust and other estate planning documents, you’re better off than most people, even those in the latter half of their lives. However, it’s essential to remember that this is rarely a “one-and-done” process. It’s always best to have an estate plan in place sooner rather than later. However, don’t forget that you will likely need to make some revisions as things happen throughout your life and the lives of your loved ones, as they do for all of us.

Following are some examples of life changes that will likely necessitate making some revisions to your estate plan. These should be considerably less time consuming than drafting the original documents.

— Marriage, remarriage or divorce– Purchase or sale of a business– A new child or grandchild– Changes in your health or that of a loved one– Changes or additions to designated beneficiaries, such as charitable organizations

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Of course, there are other changes that may warrant a revisions to one or more of your estate planning documents. If one of your heirs or powers of attorney passes away or becomes unable to handle the designated responsibilities, you will likely need to find someone else to designate in that capacity, if you haven’t already stipulated for that.

If these or any other changes occur, or if you simply change your mind about something, it’s best to contact your estate planning attorney to determine whether a revision to your current documents is necessary. Even though this will likely require a bit of time and money, remember that you already have done the bulk of your estate planning, which makes you far ahead of the game in Pennsylvania compared to most Americans.

Source: Forbes, “8 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan Today,” Mark Eghrari, Jan. 28, 2016

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