10 Tips For Keeping Your Estate Plan Up to Date

New York State Estate Planning Attorney - Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. Taking the time to create a will and perform other estate planning tasks will save your family money and spare them the burden of having to make difficult decisions regarding your estate while they are grieving. Your estate plan should reflect your most up-to-date family and financial circumstances. Therefore, you should regularly review and update your estate plan whenever any of the following events occur:

#1 You have a new child
You may want to make another will to name a personal guardian for your new child.

#2 You get married
Both you and your new spouse should create new wills. In New York, your spouse is first in line to inherit your estate when you die, unless you have an agreement to the contrary.

#3 You are not married but have a new partner to whom you would like to leave money or assets
You should create a new will. In New York, your partner will receive nothing when you die, unless you provide for them in your will or have other documents in place.

#4 You get divorced
Pursuant to New York’s Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, unless your will states otherwise, a judgment of divorce, judicial separation, or annulment revokes all dispositions or appointments of property made by you to your former spouse. You should make another will after you’ve divorced. You should also review any financial documents, such as your life insurance policy, bank account, and investment portfolio that you may want to change.

#5 You have new stepchildren
Your stepchildren are not automatically entitled to any portion of your estate when you die, unless they have been legally adopted by you. If you want to leave them something, create a new will and specify the gift.

#6 You acquire or dispose of substantial assets (like your home)
If you are leaving your entire estate to one person, a group of people or entity, you may not need to make any changes. However, whenever you are leaving a specific asset to a specific beneficiary, you need to update your will if you happen to lose or sell that asset. This way, you can avoid leaving the beneficiary with nothing. Likewise, whenever you acquire a major asset and want to specify whom you want to inherit it, you will need to create a new will.

#7 You are married and move from a community property state to a common law property state, or vice versa
Community property and common law property states view marital property in different ways. This means that what you and your spouse own in common will be different, depending on which type of state you live in. New York is a common law state, so whenever you move from New York to a community property state or vice versa, you should review and update your estate plan.

#8 You change your mind about whom you want to inherit a substantial portion of your estate
When a beneficiary dies before you do, or you simply change your mind about who you want to inherit your assets, you should create a new will. You should also update the beneficiary designations in documents, such as your banking and/or investment accounts and your life insurance policies.

#9 You want to name a new guardian
If the guardian you named in your current will has passed away, is no longer close to your family, or needs to be changed for any other reason, you should name a new one in a new will.

#10 You want to name a new executor
If the person you have named to be the executor of your estate is no longer available, willing, or appropriate to handle your estate, you should name a new executor in a new will.

The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. – Estate Planning Attorney

Estate plans should always be customized to the unique aspects of the individual. Attorney Andrew M. Lamkin can help you understand your estate planning options and draft a plan that addresses your concerns. Schedule a consultation online or call 516-605-0625 to learn more.

Like us on facebook