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Protecting Your Legacy
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5 good times to review your estate plan

Protecting a legacy can be so important for individuals and couples to consider. One of the best ways to do this is to put together an estate plan. Families members across Orlando struggle with making decisions regarding medical care, estate distribution and financial when a loved one is unable communicate his or her wishes. Taking steps to complete a comprehensive estate plan, then, will ensure that your wishes and needs are respected.

After taking the time and consideration to prepare the initial documents for an estate plan, it's a good idea to periodically review the terms developed in an estate plan. As families and finances change, so will the terms of a living will, trust or power of attorney. Keeping these plans and documents updated is essential. There are five events that could prompt a person to review his or her estate plan.

For example, a person's living trust or will may change significantly when a he or she gets married. A spouse may take over roles previously assigned to family members. Additionally, there may be community property and shared property that need to be defined.

If that marriage ends in divorce, the terms of the adjusted estate plan may no longer be relevant. Therefore, a person should review and update their documents after losing or divorcing a spouse.

Do you have plans to buy a new house? You should certainly update a living trust. Including all properties in a trust will ensure that a person will have the greatest possible benefit of the trust.

One of the easiest times to forget to update an estate plan is when a person opens, closes or changes bank accounts. This includes bank accounts, mutual funds and brokerage accounts. It's very important to keep all accounts updated in the trust because it ensures that beneficiaries will not have to struggle with things like the transfer of title.

Finally, children change everything, and that includes an estate plan. When a person has a child, adopts a child or marries a person who has children, assigning and updating inheritance provisions is essential.

Keeping an updated estate plan can make the difficult task of accurately distributing finances and properties much easier in the event that you cannot assign them yourself.

Source: Forbes, "5 Life Events That Require An Estate Planning Review," Michael Chamberlain, Aug. 13, 2012

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