It is in your best interest to start building an estate plan as soon as you become a legal adult. This can help to ensure that assets such as your Illinois home, car or business are taken care of after you pass away or if you become incapacitated. To further ensure that your estate plan meets your needs, it can be a good idea to update it at regular intervals. Let’s take a closer look at why you might want or need to do so.
Has your family grown or changed at all?
If you get married, you may want to include your new spouse as a beneficiary to your retirement, life insurance and other accounts. If you have a child, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian for your son or daughter in the event that you can’t provide adequate care. Finally, a divorce or death in the family may require you to remove an individual as a beneficiary on a will, trust or other plan documents.
Have you acquired new assets?
Ideally, you will account for a new asset such as a house, car or art collection as soon as you acquire it. The same is true if you start a business, medical practice or similar type of organization that may have some sort of monetary value.
Do you want to transfer assets out of your estate?
Transferring assets into a trust may keep them away from creditors, government agencies or other parties. Furthermore, creating a trust may reduce the value of your estate for tax purposes. Therefore, taking such a step may be something that you might want to consider during your next estate planning session.
At a minimum, you should review your estate plan at least once a year to make sure that it doesn’t need to be changed or updated in any way.