If assets such as a Texas home remain in your estate when you pass, they will be subject to probate if you have a will. If you don’t have a will, they will likely be distributed per the state’s intestacy laws. It’s worth noting that intestacy laws might take effect if your will, trust or other estate plan documents are invalidated. Therefore, it’s generally a good idea to review or edit your plan at regular intervals.
Have you recently moved?
It’s generally a good idea to review your estate plan after moving to a new state. This is because that state may have different rules than the one where existing plan documents were drafted or executed. In the event that a will or trust isn’t in compliance with your new home state’s laws, it may be invalidated.
Have you undergone a major life event?
After getting married, it may be necessary to add your spouse as the beneficiary of a 401(k), IRA or other retirement plans. It may also be necessary to add that person as the beneficiary of your will or trust. If you have a child, you should update your plan to ensure that he or she is cared for in the event that you die or become incapacitated. Updating your plan may also be worthwhile if you get married for a second time and want to make sure that your son or daughter receives his or her inheritance.
Schedule an estate planning session at least once per year
An annual estate planning session can help you spot and correct issues before they have a chance to do any damage. These issues may include the discovery of documents that aren’t properly dated or assets that aren’t titled in your trust’s name.
When structured properly, your estate plan may make it easier to settle your affairs in a timely manner. It may also help to ensure that your children and others who depend on you are taken care of in the event that you can’t provide for them while still alive.