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When to update your estate plan

Estate planning is something all New York residents should do to protect their families. It’s important to know when you should update some or all of its component documents. There are various situations that make it necessary.

Your marital status has changed

Whether you are recently married or divorced, updating your estate plan is necessary. After getting married for the first time, you will want to update your legal documents to include your new spouse’s name on them. This should include your will, trust, life insurance, retirement plans and more. If you are recently divorced, you will want to remove your former spouse from those documents.

If you have remarried, update the documents in your estate plan by removing your ex’s name and replacing them with your new spouse.

You just had a child

Children are a big reason to update your estate planning documents. The birth or adoption of a new child means you will want to prepare for that child’s future. If you have stepchildren, you might want to add them as well to ensure that they will receive an inheritance in the future.

It’s also possible to disinherit a child. While this is an unpleasant situation, things can happen and family members can have a falling out and become estranged. You can also update your estate plan if a child tells you they don’t want an inheritance.

A nominated Executor has died

Although you might have had certain people in mind to serve as your Executor, things happen. If a nominated Executor has died, you will have to replace them with another person. However, it’s always wise to have a second choice listed as a Successor Fiduciary on all your estate planning documents.

You received an inheritance

If you’ve received an inheritance or gift that you wish to preserve, you will want to update your documents. For example, you can create a trust to hold that property and keep it secured.

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