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Periodic estate planning review keeps things up to date

Planning ahead is often the best way to avoid problems. People who plan ahead are known to save time and money as well as have more opportunities than those who play it by ear or make it up as they go along. When it comes to estate planning, making those preparations early in life can have many advantages, such as allowing one to build a substantial estate for one's heirs. However, there are likely to be events in life that will require alterations to one's will or other documents.

Changes in the family dynamic can call for revisions to one's will. For example, getting married or having children may mean alterations in property ownership and certainly new considerations about one's beneficiaries. Additionally, children entering one's life may raise the question of appointing a guardian or establishing a trust to provide security for the children until they reach adulthood. Without these preparations, the state of Oklahoma may step in and make decisions that the parents would not want for their children in the event the parents meet an untimely death.

Just as marriage may initiate changes to a will, so might a divorce. In fact, changes in any relationship may affect one's estate plan, for example if one no longer wants an ex-spouse to be the primary beneficiary or a former friend is no longer an appropriate choice for estate executor. There is also the possibility that a designated heir will die, in which estate planning documents should be updated in accordance with the estate holder's wishes.

Keeping a will, trust or other documents up-to-date includes adding and removing assets as they pass through one's possession. Selling property or starting a business changes the outlook of an estate plan. In fact, major life changes happen regularly, so frequent checks on the status of one's will and other estate planning documents is a healthy habit. Many people in Oklahoma add an estate planning review with an experienced attorney to the list of things they want to accomplish at the beginning of a new year.

Source: wisebread.com, "6 Times You Need to Update Your Will", Aaron Crowe, Dec. 7, 2017

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