Creating an estate plan in Maryland is the first step to ensuring you and your loved ones are well taken care of when incapacitated or after your passing. The next and most critical step is keeping it updated. Here’s a look at the five essential checkpoints when you will need to revisit your estate plan.
A change in your marital status
If you get married, your estate plan will need to be updated to reflect your new spouse. This includes adding them as a beneficiary to your will. And, if they are credible enough, you can name them as your agent under a power of attorney. In like manner, if you get divorced, you’ll need to remove your ex-spouse from such designations.
A change in your family structure
Adding a child or grandchild to the family is one of the most common reasons people update their estate plans. You’ll want to include them as beneficiaries in your will and make sure they’re taken care of financially if something happens to you. You can also consider setting up trusts for minor children or grandchildren to have their inheritance managed well until they come of age.
A change in your assets
If you acquire new assets, such as a home or investment property, you’ll need to update your estate plan to reflect those changes.
A change in your debts or financial situation
If you find yourself in debt, update your estate plan by including provisions on how your debts are settled after you pass away. Keep in mind that your loved ones can only inherit your assets after your executor or estate administrator pays off your creditor. If you believe this might affect what they’ll get, then an update to your plan is critical.
A change in the federal or state laws
The laws surrounding estate planning often change, so it’s important to keep up with them.
By regularly revisiting your plan and making changes as needed, you can rest assured knowing that your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones will be taken care of.