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  • Writer's pictureCook Tillman

When your relationships change, so should your estate plan

In this blog, we have talked about events that often warrant a review and revision of an estate plan. Often, these events involve changes to people’s health, living situation or finances.

However, changes in your personal relationships can also have an impact on your estate plans.

Examples of relationship changes

When it comes to relationship changes, the following types of changes are among those that can affect estate plans.

  1. Getting married

  2. Getting divorced

  3. Adopting a child or stepchild

  4. Having a baby

  5. Estrangement

  6. Death of a loved one

  7. Changes in a loved one’s mental capacity

  8. Loaning money to or borrowing from a family member

What can change when your relationships change?

Under these circumstances, you may need to revisit the people you name in your will. This includes your beneficiaries, your executors, appointed guardians, people with power of attorney other decision makers.

In cases where relationship changes are positive, you may want to be sure another person is added to your will or appointed to a position of authority.

In cases where relationships deteriorate or become negative, you might want to think about removing the other party from your will or making sure he or she is not going to be someone who can make decisions on your behalf.

Addressing these changes in your estate plan

As this recent Forbes article discusses, the people in your estate plan can hold considerable power. Making sure that power stays with the people you want it to stay with is crucial in preserving your wishes and preventing ugly legal battles.

Therefore, discussing your estate plans, appointments and surrogates with an attorney when relationships change can be wise.


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