3 Life Events That Should Have You Revisit Your Will

Any time that we assist clients in preparing a Will and estate plan, we always advise them that they should think about reviewing their decisions every 3 to 5 years, or upon a major change in family circumstance.  While changes in family circumstance can be exciting, stressful, unexpected, etc., they often impact the decisions that you made  under your Will and estate plan.  What are some common changes in family circumstance that might impact your Will?

Birth

The birth of a new child or grandchild is an exciting change in your family.  However, neither children nor grandchildren are automatically included in a Will.  Instead, you need to take steps to add them to your Will, and you may want to include special provisions for who raise your children if something unforeseen happens, who will manage money for them if you passed away unexpectedly, etc.

Marriage/Divorce

If you created a Will prior to being married, it will not automatically include your spouse upon marriage.  Rather, after you are married, you should revise your Will to include your new spouse to ensure that your assets (or some portion of your assets) pass to that new spouse.  If you have children from a prior marriage, you will want to carefully consider the provisions for your children versus the provisions for your new spouse as blended families can always present challenges.

Buying or Moving House

Anytime that you move and/or purchase a new or second home, you should review your Will and estate plan.  For instance, if the new home is out of state, you may need to take action to protect it from probate in the other state.  You may also want to divide your houses differently if you have multiple homes versus only one home.

Are you considering a Will or ready to begin the estate planning process? Then contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Does a Prenuptial Agreement Affect an Estate Plan?

Prenuptial Waivers

The important thing to consider in terms of a prenuptial agreement’s affect on your estate plan primarily is the waivers. A prenup can include a number of waivers that work to protect your estate plan because even if an estate plan is in place, a spouse still maintains a fair bit of power.  Often, a prenup dictates what each spouse is entitled to receive both upon divorce and upon death.  For instance, in Texas, many prenuptial agreements provide that neither party creates any community property.  This means that one spouse could have a much larger share of the marital assets than the other spouse.   Upon death, the deceased spouse’s estate would only contain the assets that the prenuptial agreement specified.

Can You Edit a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenups are often done before marriage, but you might delay to make an estate plan for years into the future. This leaves many wondering if you can edit a prenup to better work with your estate plan – you can! Like any agreement, as long as both parties agree on the changes to a prenup, it can be changed even if you are already married.

However, if the prenuptial agreement is fundamentally unfair and you somehow forced your spouse to comply, the courts may not choose to uphold the rules put forth after your death. However, if you treat your spouse fairly in the prenuptial agreement that waives some inheritance and the estate plan that gives them a fair share, then the courts are likely to uphold your careful planning.

If you’d like to learn more about the estate planning process or even get your own plan going, contact us today.