Life is all about changes, from starting a family, buying a house, building a business, retiring and building a legacy. Your estate and financial plan needs to follow along with these changes and life events.
It takes planning and the help of skilled professionals to guide us through complex areas that include estate planning and building a successful financial strategy. Along the way, life happens, and that almost always includes changes in relationships and priorities.
NASDAQ’s recent article, “6 Reasons to Update Your Financial Strategy Now,” gives us some major life changes and stages that call for an update to your estate plan.
- Marriage. It’s important that you both have an understanding of the family finances and be able to set goals together. Both of you should be knowledgeable about the monthly budget, insurance, estate planning and investments.
- Divorce. Whether you are trying to maintain your financial situation or recover from the dissolution, there are some key areas that require updating, such as your financial status, a new budget, reviewing credit reports, adding to an emergency fund and analyzing your estate plan. Don’t forget to update your beneficiary designations.
- Children. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the typical middle-income, married parents of a child born in 2015 can anticipate spending $230,000 for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child up to age 18. That doesn’t include the cost of college. Review your insurance policies and estate plan to make sure that your family is protected.
- Career or Job Change. Whether you were unemployed due to termination, merger, or layoff, important financial concerns include loss of income, medical insurance and other benefits.
- Retirement. Plan properly to avoid the risk of not outliving the retirement that you thought you would have to see you through.
- Loss of a Spouse. This sad reality can be overwhelming from both an emotional and financial standpoint. An estate planning attorney will be able to help you through the process of tasks and legal issues to be resolved.
An estate plan is not a set-it-and-forget-it document. Changes in life and changes in the law, necessitate a review on a regular basis. If you have not reviewed your estate plan in the last four years, now would be a good time to schedule a meeting with your estate planning attorney.
Reference: NASDAQ (January 26, 2017) “6 Reasons to Update Your Financial Strategy Now”