Updating Your Estate Plan Is Paramount

When you look at estate planning as a process rather than an isolated event, the need for updating it is apparent. Although attorneys can provide the tools you need to ensure your assets go to designated beneficiaries, estate planning can accomplish significantly more. Parents can select and identify guardians for their children. People can designate agents to act for them using a durable power of attorney or a medical power of attorney so that they know who will be managing their financial affairs and ensuring they receive appropriate medical treatment if they are incapacitated. 

The circumstances and relationships that led you to make these decisions may no longer be applicable. For instance, the person you chose to be your child’s guardian may have passed away, or your connection with the person may have deteriorated. Though these are common reasons why you need to update your estate plan throughout your life, many other life events would also trigger a need for review and possibly updating. 

Issues Connected to Your Family 

Though we mentioned it above, we need to readdress the importance of selecting a guardian for your children. Even if your choice of a legal guardian has not changed, you should review your estate plan if you have additional children through birth or adoption. If you or the potential guardians get divorced and/or remarry, there may be a need to review the provisions to see if they need to be changed.

Today’s blended families where each partner may come into the marriage with children can create the need for more complex planning.  You may need a plan to ensure your children from different relationships or marriages receive assets from specific sources instead of an equal split among all children.  Reviewing or updating your plan helps ensure all parties receive those items you want to pass down to them. 

Moving To a New State 

When you create an estate plan in any state, all other states are required to and will honor the documents.  However, all estate planning laws are state specific and form or legal differences can create some challenges when it is time to use the documents.  In a medical emergency, you don’t want a doctor in Texas who is hesitant to accept a form that is generated out of state because it is unfamiliar or uses language that is not common in Texas. Using the Texas statutory forms for your Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney and Directive to Physicians will ensure a smoother process for those you have named as agents in your documents. 

Speak With An Estate Planning Attorney Today

At the Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham, we understand how valuable an estate plan is. We work closely with our clients to learn their needs, goals and objectives before developing a customized plan that achieves those needs, goals and objectives. If you are ready to create your first estate plan or need to modify an existing one, call us at (972) 292-7199 to schedule a consultation.

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Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is an Irving attorney providing affordable estate planning to the Dallas/ Fort-Worth areas. She understands the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Debbie is family-focused and wants to ensure her clients are fully informed on the options that are available for their families. Debbie’s own blended family has given her valuable insights into the complexities of family dynamics.

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