When to Update Your Estate Plan
By Corrina Judd, Esq., Vice President & Estate Officer
Completing an estate plan is an indispensable step to take in preparing well for the future. But once the documents are signed, be wary of choosing to “set it and forget it.” As life’s circumstances change, so too should a good estate plan.
Any change in family structure should prompt an estate planning update. The terms of an existing will or trust should generally be amended following a divorce, a new marriage, the death of someone previously named as a beneficiary or a birth in the family.
Changes in the ages and maturity levels of named beneficiaries should prompt revisions too. For example, do your old wills give assets outright to a beneficiary who might now benefit from the oversight of a trustee like The National Bank of Indianapolis?
Safeguarding assets in a trust could be valuable for a beneficiary faced with creditor issues, disability or divorce. Outdated provisions can lead to undesirable results if changes go unaddressed in your documents.
Every state has statutes governing the creation, administration and taxation of trusts and estates. Some laws may be similar across state lines, but others are very different. That’s why it’s crucial to meet with an estate planning attorney in your new state to ensure your documents accomplish your wishes and comply with local law.
Concerns about Incapacity
Although we all hope to manage our own affairs throughout the course of our lives, many of us know those who are unable to do so due to a mental or physical incapacity.
Life is unpredictable, and so it’s prudent to hope for the best while also planning for the worst. If the potential for incapacity is a growing concern for you, updating your planning to include reliable individuals or a corporate fiduciary like The National Bank of Indianapolis to serve as trustee in the event of your incapacity should provide some peace of mind.
If you’ve received an inheritance recently, be sure to take a second look at your estate plan. Will the beneficiaries currently listed in your planning receive more assets at your passing as a result of what you’ve inherited? It’s sensible to consider whether those individuals possess the financial acumen to manage large sums outright after you’re gone, or whether they would gain from the involvement of a trustee to oversee distributions and safeguard assets for their benefit.
Revisit your estate planning documents occasionally to ensure that your goals will come to fruition. At The National Bank of Indianapolis, we are always happy to make a referral to an attorney who can assist you with your estate planning needs.
Learn more about trust and estate management services from The National Bank of Indianapolis here: