Is It Time To Revise Your Estate Plan?
Reevaluating Your Choice of Personal Representative
While it is important to review your estate plan periodically, the good news is that you do not need to rewrite your entire estate plan from scratch every year. (Divorce is almost the only event that requires you to start over again from zero with your estate plan.) You should, however, evaluate whether your choices of personal representative and other people you have chosen for positions of responsibility in the event of your illness and death are still appropriate. For example, probate will be a minefield for conflict if your will lists as a personal representative someone who has died or become incapacitated by the time your estate goes to probate. One solution to this is to list an alternate personal representative.
Updating Payable on Death Beneficiaries
Non-probate assets can also cause trouble for your family if the beneficiary list is out of date. For example, when you list a payable on death (POD) beneficiary for a bank account, that person automatically gets the money when you die. That means that your ex-spouse will inherit the money if you listed them as a POD beneficiary while you were married and never changed the beneficiary when you got divorced. Changing the beneficiary only takes a few minutes, so you might as well do it before the holidays.
Contact an Attorney for Help
Even if you have already written a will and set up non-probate assets, an estate plan is never finished. A Washington DC estate planning lawyer can help you figure out which aspects of your estate plan require updates and revisions this year. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help with your case.