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Life events often signal a good time to revise one's estate plan

The birth of a child can throw even the most organized and level-headed Warrendale residents into a complete tailspin. From the overwhelming amounts of love and stress that accompany the arrival of a new baby, planning for one's demise can seem like a morbid and even inappropriate thing to do. However, when a new family member joins a person's life it can be imperative that the individual revises his estate plan to ensure that the new addition is property accounted for when the planner passes.

Revising one's estate plan in the wake of a birth can involve the reworking of a variety of documents. It can involve adding clauses to one's will that detail who will care for any minor kids that survive the will maker and how those guardians will financially support the child in their care. It can involve adding a child as a beneficiary to various testamentary tools and ensuring that the child will receive the inheritance that the parent intends for him to receive. The same considerations should be given if a child is added to a family through the legal process of adoption.

An estate plan should also be created or revised when other major life events occur. For example, after a marriage or a divorce an individual may need to completely overhaul his estate plan to either include a new spouse or remove a former spouse from benefitting in the event of the estate planner's death.

Attorneys who practice estate planning law are well-suited to discuss the details of their clients' life events with them to make sure that their estate plans are sufficient to meet their testamentary desires. Different individuals experience different life events and hold different beliefs as to how their loved ones should benefit at the time of their deaths, and as such readers of this post are encouraged to speak to their own lawyers about how best to plan for the disposition of their estates.

Source: Nasdaq.com, "Congrats on Your New Baby! Now It's Time for an Estate Plan," Brian McCann, Dec. 22, 2016

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