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What life events should trigger an estate plan review?

There are many Florida residents who believe that their estate plan is in tip top shape, even though they may not have reviewed it in a while. But estate planning, much like life, can be fluid and subject to change, and there are situations in life that necessitate a review of one's estate plan. But, what are some of these situations?

Getting married is a life changing event in more ways than one. Becoming a couple can have an effect on every aspect of one's life including their taxes and their estate situations. If someone gets married and their new spouse has children from a previous marriage, these children aren't automatically included in an inheritance. They must be specifically mentioned in that person's estate plan in order to receive any assets.

Likewise, getting remarried can have a serious effect on an estate plan. Just because a person gets remarried, that doesn't mean that their new spouse will automatically receive the assets from their estate when they die. They may have to divide the assets up with the children from a previous marriage unless specific steps are taken to address this issue by using estate planning tools such as a living trust or a will.

Another life event that should require an estate plan review is if one's beneficiary passes away. If this beneficiary had children and there are no specific instructions in the estate plan that gives them the beneficiary's assets, then they are not entitled to any assets. Specific instructions must be included in the estate plan.

There are other life situations that require a review of one's estate plan such as divorce, the birth of a child and moving to another state. However, any Florida resident who wants to develop an estate plan may want to speak with an estate planning attorney in order to better understand these types of situations.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "9 life changes that require an estate plan review", Accessed Sept. 1, 2015

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