We’ve written on the blog before about the importance of estate planning, especially for women.
Estate planning is a woman’s issue: Women often live longer than their partners — meaning that they might find themselves having to determine their partner’s financial destiny and decide how their finances will be allocated to family members, taxes, and charities.
Also, women today lead dynamic and complex work lives, building fulfilling careers but also having to step out of the paid workforce for periods of time to raise their children or take care of their parents. Such variances in employment can potentially impact a woman’s financial well-being. Therefore, estate planning plays an important role in ensuring every woman’s long-term economic security.
Today, we’ll be taking the topic of estate planning a step further and discuss why you should frequently revisit your estate plan.
Estate Planning: Not a “Set It and Forget It” Matter
You should revisit your estate plan every three to five years, and also after major life events, such as birth, marriage, or death. You shouldn’t just revisit your will — you should review everything in your estate plan, including the following:
- a last will and testament;
- a revocable living trust;
- a durable power of attorney;
- a healthcare power of attorney;
- a living will;
- life insurance beneficiaries;
- retirement plans’ beneficiaries;
- and business plans.
There are several reasons why you might want to update your estate plan — from moving to another state, to wanting to incorporate philanthropic giving in your estate plan, to wanting to include your growing family. Updating your estate plan requires serious thought — LegalZoom provides a great list of questions you might want to consider. These include:
- Is there a new marriage?
- Is there a new domestic partnership or a common law marriage?
- Have you changed the guardian you chose for your children?
- Is there a new baby or an adopted child?
- Do you want to disinherit a spouse or a child?
- Do you want to add or change beneficiaries, including a charity?
- Have you divorced since your estate plan was made?
- Do you have a blended family?
- Has one or more of your beneficiaries predeceased you?
- Do any of your beneficiaries have special, or changed, needs that you want your estate plan to address?
- Have you moved to a new state?
- Do you want a new trustee for your trust?
- Have you received an inheritance or additional assets?
- Do you want a new person to have power of attorney?
- Do you have a living will?
- Did you open a business or do you currently own one?
- Are there new tax laws in place?
By answering these questions, you can ensure your wishes are clearly defined and will be carried out in the future.
Estate Planning with The Humphreys Group
In a survey by Wells Fargo, one in six older Americans said their financial documents are out of date. Many said they put off these tasks because of a lack of urgency. Yes, it can feel easier to procrastinate than have to take the time to review your estate plan, especially since it’s such an emotionally charged topic. But by putting it off, it will only create more problems later on.
The Humphreys Group understands the role of emotions in estate planning. We provide wealth management for women that blends empathy with expertise — because we know that both carry an equal amount of weight when it comes to handling money matters.
If you’d like to discuss updating your estate plan, reach out to our team today. We look forward to hearing from you.