Don’t Let Your Estate Plan Lag Behind

Remembering to update your estate plan is crucial. If your estate plan doesn’t reflect your current intentions, there’s not much reason to have one. In fact, it may be a detriment – an estate plan that works against your best wishes isn’t very productive. We generally recommend revisiting your estate plan once every two years. Before you call it a day and toss all those documents back into a drawer, there are a few other times you should make sure to update your plans:

You should update your estate plan after any major life event, but marriage is one of the most impactful events for your plan. If you recently married, be sure to update your estate plan with your spouse in mind. You may name them as a beneficiary, so they would receive your assets, but you can also appoint them to the role of executor, who would undertake the task of actually executing your estate plan and settling any debts or other issues. 

Similarly, if you are now a divorcee, it is highly recommended that you update your estate plan as soon as possible. Even though Texas law outlines all provisions in your will, including fiduciary appointments, shall be read as if your former spouse (and each of their relatives who is not also your relative) had predeceased you, it can cause issues for your other beneficiaries.  

If you name guardians and/or trustees in your will, and your relationship with them changes or they pass away, update your will as soon as possible. You do not want to risk leaving your child and the child’s inheritance in trust without your choice of guardian and trustee should anything happen. Similarly, if your spouse dies, be sure to update the plan and name guardians as soon as possible. Without specific guardians and trustees named, a court will decide who the new guardians of your children and trustees of their inheritance in trust are, and it may not be who you would choose.

If you had a good investment year, and as a result now have significantly more assets to include in your plan, add those assets in as soon as possible to avoid their being entered into intestacy. If you launched a new business venture, include the business in your estate plan to ensure it would be passed down and handled properly if anything were to happen.

Retirement is a landmark in your life that you should be proud to achieve, and it’s also one of the most important times for you to update your estate plan. Your income and finances will change drastically, and if you have children, they’re likely at an age where you can confidently pass down your assets to them.

If keeping your estate plan in order and up to date seems like a tedious task, Albright & Lumpkin can assist in staying on top of your personal documents. We can help create your estate plan from the ground up and ensure it stays up to date with your plans as you enjoy your life. It’s generally recommended to speak with your attorney every time you update your estate plan to ensure you’re not leaving anything out or opening yourself up to intestacy. To get started, contact us today or call the office at (713) 455-6661.


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Albright & Lumpkin, PC

At Albright & Lumpkin, we help individuals, families, and business owners achieve their goals and protect their futures.

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