When Florida residents pass away, their estates are typically bound by the state’s probate laws. Reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis may ensure that your will is structured properly and that certain assets can avoid probate altogether. At a minimum, you should review your plan once every two to four years.
Schedule a review after a major life event
If you get married, it may be necessary to include your spouse as a beneficiary on a 401(k) plan. It may also be necessary to add that person as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. In the event that you have a child, you’ll want to be sure that he or she is included in a will or named in your trust.
Make changes before health issues lead to a cognitive decline
Family members may challenge the terms of a will, trust or other estate plan documents if there is reason to believe that they don’t accurately reflect your intentions. It’s not uncommon for outside parties to claim that you didn’t understand what was happening when your will was created, altered or withdrawn. An estate law attorney may help you structure your plan to ensure that it remains in place if you become incapacitated.
Ideally, you’ll review your estate plan regularly with the help of an attorney. He or she may make any changes that need to be made to a will, trust or other document to help ensure that they withstand legal challenges. Your attorney may also be able to explain the potential benefits of adding a trust, financial agent or other estate planning tool to your existing plan.