When and why to update an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2020 | Blog, Estate Planning

People in Pennsylvania may need to revise their estate plan when they have children or when they get a divorce. A change in laws, the death of an executor or losing a copy of the original will may also require a revised estate plan. A person who is creating a new will should make it clear that this one invalidates previous ones.

There are also some special circumstances that can make revising an estate plan necessary. For example, a person may want to name friends as beneficiaries in a will. However, if it seems that family members might try to contest this, the person might need to add a no contest clause to the will. This can cause a person who challenges the will to be disinherited. A person who buys property in another country or who moves abroad may also need to revise their estate plan. The changes needed will vary depending on the reciprocity agreement regarding wills and whether it would be best to have two wills in two different countries.

A more common situation is a beneficiary developing a problem with creditors or addiction or marrying someone they may later divorce. Trusts can be used to protect assets in these circumstances. A change in assets or a desire to appoint different people for roles in the estate plan are other reasons for revision.

Whether they already have a will that should be revised or they need to create one, people may want to discuss estate planning with an attorney. A disadvantage of do-it-yourself estate planning is that people may not realize what options are available. For example, they may assume they do not need a trust because they are not particularly wealthy, but trusts have a number of uses. An attorney may also help ensure that documents are prepared accurately.


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