Only a small percentage of adults in Oregon have even the simplest estate plan in place when they pass away. Unfortunately, many who do take the step to write a will or establish a trust make a critical mistake. They fail to review their estate plans and revise them when their circumstances change.
It is the rare life that does not experience change. Certain changes can have a profound impact on one’s estate plan. In fact, many have left their loved ones confused and unprotected by failing to adjust their wills after any of the following changes:
- A divorce and remarriage, especially if one has children from the previous relationship
- The birth or adoption of a child or grandchild
- The death or declining health of named executors or beneficiaries
- The death or declining health of any named guardians
- A move to a state with different laws pertaining to the validity of wills and other estate planning matters
In some cases, changes in life may suggest the addition of a trust, such as when a loved one has special needs or if one acquires significant or complex assets. Purchasing property in more than one state can complicate probate for loved ones without the inclusion of a trust in one’s estate plan.
Sometimes changes beyond one’s personal life can result in big consequences for an estate plan. If the bank a person has chosen to administer his or her estate changes ownership, that executorship may no longer be viable. New tax laws or estate laws in Oregon can affect one’s plan. Even without any major life changes, it is smart to do a periodic review of one’s estate plan with the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional.