Life is rarely static, and Coloradans can expect that as they age, they will see many changes in their life. Family members may have come into or gone from their lives, they may have worked their way up the corporate ladder and many other major life events may have occurred over the years. It is important, then, that one’s estate plan reflects these changes.
Moving to a different state is a huge change in a person’s life. However, it is an event that warrants a review of one’s estate plan. This is because the laws regarding estate planning vary by state. Some differences are small, such as how many witnesses are needed to execute a will. However, other differences, such as whether a spouse must receive a certain amount of their partner’s estate upon their death can make a big difference to one’s estate plan. Moreover, different states have different tax laws, and while some states have abolished estate taxes and inheritance taxes, others have not.
Other major life changes involve family. A new child or grandchild might be born. A person might marry, divorce or remarry. All of this can affect one’s estate plan. For example, when these events occur, one will want to make sure their estate plan still reflects who they want to inherit their estate and who they want to list as beneficiaries on certain accounts. In addition, if there is a death in the family, one will also want to make sure their estate plan reflects that. After all, someone who is deceased cannot serve as power of attorney or executor of an estate.
These are only some reasons why a person should periodically review their estate plan. An estate plan should not be done-in-one and then left to gather dust. It should evolve as a person’s life changes, so that it always meets their wishes. It takes time and effort to carefully craft a comprehensive estate plan. Don’t let all that work be wasted by failing to update your estate plan when a major life event occurs.