CALL US TODAY 630-780-1034

Why It Is Critical To Update Your Estate Plan

 Posted on March 22, 2023 in Estate Planning

Sugar Grove, Illinois, Estate Planning Attorneys

Yorkville Estate Planning Attorney: Why it is necessary to amend your estate planning documents

Creating an estate plan is essential in ensuring your assets will be distributed how you wish upon your death. However, more than simply creating an estate plan may be required. Whether you create your estate plan early in life or later in life, specific circumstances may make it necessary to update your estate planning documents. Therefore, it is recommended to review your estate plan every few years and amend it as required to account for life changes. At Peace of Mind Asset Protection, our attorneys assist in both creating estate plans and making amendments and codicils to those documents as necessary.

When Should I Amend my Estate Plan?

Some life changes warrant a change in your estate plan, while others may be minor and would not affect an estate plan. If you have a life change and do not update your estate plan to reflect those significant changes, then your assets will likely not be distributed how you wish them to be in consideration of those life events. However, suppose you are still determining whether or not a change warrants an amendment to your estate plan. In that case, our attorneys at Peace of Mind Asset Protection will review your estate plan and discuss your life changes to advise whether amending your estate plan is necessary. 

1. Marriage

Getting married is a significant life event that would warrant updating your estate plan. When one gets married, it is common for the spouses to combine their assets and hold most of their accounts jointly. For this reason, you may revoke a Single Trust and create a Joint Trust with your spouse. Another reason marriage plays a significant role is that the spouses typically desire to leave their assets to the surviving spouse. If the estate plan is created before marriage, there is likely a different beneficiary designation that the trust maker would no longer wish to receive your assets. 

2. Divorce

If one creates an estate plan while married, they likely leave their assets to their spouse. Upon a divorce, an amendment should state that the parties have divorced, and the trust maker is no longer going assets to the ex-spouse. While some estate plans may have a provision automatically providing for divorce, not all have such a provision. In your estate plan, it is vital to dictate that a divorce occurred with the necessary case number for reference. A divorce can also alter how the title to a property is held and can divide assets. With these considerations in mind, an amendment should occur following a divorce.

3. Having a Child

If you have a child after creating your estate plan, please update it to reflect that. If you want your child to inherit assets upon your death, you must state that within your estate plan, as your child will not automatically be provided for. In addition, it would be wise to update your Will to account for a Guardian for your minor child. Should something happen to you and the other parent, you must determine who you wish to care for the child. If a designation is not made in the estate plan, the child would become a ward of the state and might be placed with a relative or in foster care if there are no nearby relatives.

4. Add or Remove a Trustee 

When you created a Trust, you stated who you would like to serve as Successor Trustee(s), individuals who come forward to manage the Trust and make distributions as necessary and in line with the Terms of the Trust. As Successor Trustee, the individual can access all assets held under the Trust. The role is a big responsibility. If you no longer wish to have a named Successor Trustee serve or would like to add Successor Trustee, you must amend your Trust to account for this change, or else the prior designation will prevail.

5. Add or Remove a Beneficiary

As life occurs, you may want to change your beneficiary designations. This could be due to additional children being born, wanting to now provide for grandchildren, or maybe you no longer have a close relationship with a named beneficiary and would now like to remove them as a beneficiary to your assets. If you wish to disinherit a child, that also is a reason to amend your estate plan. You must remove them as beneficiaries and state that you are intentionally disinheriting the child. Otherwise, the child could still take under the terms of the Trust.

Contact Sugar Grove, Illinois, Estate Planning Attorneys

It can be challenging to determine whether you need to amend your estate plan and what to consider when making an amendment. At Peace of Mind Asset Protection, the attorneys and staff are experienced in handling simple and complex estate plans. They can provide advice and guidance to make the amendment process as smooth and painless as possible. We provide services to the counties of Kane, Will, Kendall, DuPage, and the surrounding areas. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, call our office at 630-882-2467.

Share this post:
badge badge badge badge badge

Contact Us Today

Call 630-780-1034 or fill out the form below to set up a free consultation today:

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
Name *
Phone *
Email *
Message *

DisclaimerThe use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

I have read and understand the Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

Back to Top