You should check your estate planning documents every so often, to make sure they’re still good, especially with big life changes like births, marriages, divorces, and moving to another state. Children grow up, marriages dissolve, property gets sold, residences change and laws change. It is critical that your estate planning documents are Long-Term Care Compliant so that you are in a position to successfully navigate a health care crisis without destroying your nest egg. That’s why we recommend that you consult us for an estate plan check-up every five years or so.
What Happens If You Retire in Another State?
If you retire to another state, your will would probably be good, but powers of attorney vary from state to state. Documents from the “old” state might not work in the “new” one, and your documents would not be there for you when you need them.
How Does a Spouse or Ex-spouse Effect My Estate Plan?
Suppose you willed your property to your spouse and appointed that person to be your power of attorney. You got divorced, but you never got around to changing your plan. The law would usually step in to prevent your ex-spouse from inheriting, but you might be stuck with that person holding power of attorney over your property and health care.
Maybe you named your ex-spouse’s father as your executor and agent. Now he can’t stand you and blames you for the break-up.
How Do I Divide my Assets Equally to my Children?
Perhaps you willed your property to your two children equally – but now one child is addicted to opioids. Your will did not restrict how money should be spent. If your addicted child inherits a lot of money in one chunk, that money could vanish to drugs and your child’s survival might be at risk.
Or, you deeded your house to one child and made a will leaving money to your other child. Then you forgot about the deed and made another will, years later. That will split everything equally. The law would invalidate the second will as to the house because deeds supplant wills. Consequently, one child might end up receiving more value than the other. That unfairness might sour the children against each other forever.
If you got divorced, sold property, moved to another state, are concerned if your documents are Long-Term Care Compliant or did your documents more than five years ago, come see us for a free estate plan check-up.
When it comes to estate planning, “once is not done.”
Contact us today at 833-677-3737 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your estate planning goals. All legal services are provided by Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.
Thanks for reading.
Christopher E. Botti, Esq., Chief Preservation Officer and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law