Life Changes...So Should Your Estate Plans

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As the years go by, your circumstances and wishes will probably change—and so should your estate plans. It is smart to conduct a review every few years or after any significant life event. Neglecting to do so could have devastating effects for your family and friends.

Reasons to Review Your Estate Plans
  • Significant change in the value of your estate
  • Relocation to a different state
  • Change in professional or business relationships
  • Death of a beneficiary or personal representative

5 Essential Documents to Keep Current

  1. Your will and living trust. These basic documents inform your personal representative and trustee how to distribute your assets after death. They should be reviewed every three to five years.
  2. Durable power of attorney. This designation allows you to name someone to conduct financial matters on your behalf in case you become ill or disabled later. Confirm your selection at the same time you review your will and living trust.
  3. Health care power of attorney and living will. A health care power of attorney allows you to designate another person to make medical decisions if you are incapacitated, and a living will deals with end-of-life situations. Update these documents if your relationships with the people you have chosen change or if they predecease you.
When updating your estate plans, consult an estate planning attorney who knows the laws of your state. We would also be happy to answer any questions about how to include Gustavus Adolphus College in your estate plans or meet with you and your attorney as you prepare for the future.

Tip: By including family members in your estate planning process, they will more likely understand, respect and support your decisions.

Our free guide can help you locate your important documents.