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5 Reasons to Update Your Texas Estate Plan

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio estate planningIf you already have an estate plan, when is the last time you pulled it out and looked over it? If it has been a while, you might want to revisit it. People’s lives change over time. Laws change. Families change. It is a wise idea to review your estate planning documents periodically to ensure that the plan you have is still the plan you want.

Estate planning can be an emotional process for some, so it is understandable if you are reluctant to visit the subject more than once. However, even a quick review to make sure that your wishes are still accurately expressed can go a long way towards protecting both you and your loved ones. There are also a few trigger events that should prompt you to take a look at your estate planning documents. Most changes to an existing estate plan can be made relatively quickly and easily with a lawyer’s help. 

When Should I Revisit My Estate Planning Documents?

You may want to review and possibly edit your existing estate plan if one of the following life events takes place: 

  • Move between states - State law controls most of the law related to estate planning. A plan that was perfectly legally effective in the state you used to live in may not work out in your new home state. Your entire plan should be reviewed by an attorney in the state where you now reside. 
  • Family structure changes - Changes to your marital status in particular should prompt you to readdress your estate plan. If you marry, divorce, or remarry, then you will likely want to add your new spouse or remove a former spouse. However, other changes to the structure of your immediate family, like having a child, should also trigger an update. 
  • Death of a beneficiary - Particularly in cases where spouses or close friends have named each other as beneficiaries, there is a possibility that one of your beneficiaries will pass away before you do. If this happens, you will need to tweak your estate plan to exclude the deceased individual. 
  • Financial status change - If your financial status has changes significantly, it may be worth it to revisit your estate plan. If, for example, the concern is that you have taken on a lot of debt, then switching your revocable living trust to an irrevocable trust could offer you better protection. 
  • Serious illness - If you receive a major diagnosis, like cancer or early-stage Alzheimer’s, the time to review your estate plan is now. Your opportunities to do so in the future may be extremely limited. Many people also experience changes of heart when it comes to what they would want from end-of-life care during these times. 

Even if none of these life events have occurred, it is still a good idea to periodically revisit your estate plan. You may be surprised at how much has changed since you made it. 

Contact a Bexar County Estate Planning Lawyer

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law can help you through the process of making any desired updates to the estate plan you already have. Our compassionate San Antonio estate planning attorneys will go document by document to ensure that your current wishes are expressed. Call 210-535-0870 to begin with a free consultation. 



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