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Have you experienced a major event in your life recently?

If you have experienced a major change in your life, then you may need to stop and assess certain details. Major life events can necessitate numerous changes in how you live your life. You make adjustments as needed in order to find a new normal in your life and then move forward.

As you make changes to accommodate the recent changes in your life, you may want to consider reviewing your estate plan as well. Even if you reviewed it within the last couple of years, this event could require modifications in order to keep your plan relevant.

What events would require a review of your estate plan?

Periodically reviewing your estate plan helps ensure that it still reflects your wishes. During the ordinary course of life, you probably won't need to change anything. However, certain events could mean big changes to your plan, and some of those events are listed below:

  • If you welcome a new child or grandchild into your family, you may want to include him or her in your estate plan.
  • If you have a falling out with someone who you previously named in your estate plan, you may want to remove him or her, or reduce that person's inheritance.
  • If you lost a loved one since you created your estate plan, got divorced or remarried, accounting for these events in your estate plan is vital in order to avoid unnecessary confusion later.
  • If you recently moved to Massachusetts, your plan may need changes to reflect the laws of this state.
  • Reviewing and updating beneficiary designations on insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets that require them is something many people forget. These designations override anything you may put into your will or a trust, so it's crucial they accurately reflect the person or people you intend to inherit the funds after your death.
  • If you sell certain assets or purchase new ones, your plan may require changes to reflect the deletion of certain property and the addition of other assets.
  • You may decide that the person or people you appointed as your executor, trustee or agent in a power of attorney no longer seem appropriate for the task. You want to make sure you trust the individuals in these roles, and if you no longer do, you can appoint someone else.

If you remain unsure as to whether you need to change your estate plan, you could consult with an attorney who can help you make that decision and adjust your estate plan accordingly.

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