Thursday, April 20, 2017

When To Consider Updating Your Estate Plan

Life is a long, winding journey. There are several stops you must make along the way and several tasks that will require attention at some point. Some things cannot be addressed only once - they must be readdressed periodically to ensure that they are still relevant and up-to-date. Estate planning is one such task.


An effective estate plan is designed to meet your specific needs by reflecting your current position in life. Since your position will likely change at least once (and potentially several times) as you age, it is important to consider updating your estate plan to reflect your current position and needs. O'Donnell Law Center is here to help you keep your estate plan up-to-date by discussing a few situations when it may be wise to update your estate plan.

Getting Married Or Divorced

Marriage and/or divorce are major milestones in one's life. Whether you are creating a marital union or dissolving one, your life will be drastically different once the process is complete. Spouses often have automatic rights to inherit each other's assets if the other passes and, unless otherwise specified, are typically given the right to make decisions on the other's behalf should the other become incapacitated. When you get married or divorced, it is wise to consult with a Lake of the Ozarks estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan reflects your current needs as a newly wedded or recently single individual.

Having Children

If you did not have children at the time that you initially built your estate plan, we strongly encourage you to consider updating your plan once you have had children. A key component of estate planning is to ensure that your children will be provided for no matter what happens to you. If they are under the age of 18, your estate plan should nominate someone to care for your children in your place in the event that something happens to you. Once your children are legal adults, your estate plan can protect them by dictating which of your assets they should inherit and at what age they should gain access to those assets.

Starting A Business

As a new business owner, you will have a myriad of details demanding your attention. Entrepreneurs must not only be well-versed in their chosen industry; they must also have at least a basic understanding of what it takes to operate a business. As the owner, one of your responsibilities will be to determine what should happen to your business in the event that you are no longer able to take care of it. Whether that means passing it to an heir, selling it, or dissolving it, your estate plan should provide at least a basic explanation of how you would like your company's affairs to be handled after you pass.

Experiencing A Change In Financial Situation

A well-prepared estate plan should be designed to meet your specific situation. In order to meet your exact needs and avoid excessive taxation, a skilled estate planning attorney will use different tools and strategies depending on your financial situation. If you experience a change in your financial position, you'll want to talk to your attorney to see if your estate plan needs to be constructed differently based on your new financial needs. Examples of changes in your financial situation may include (but is not limited to):
  • Accepting a job with a significantly higher salary
  • Inheriting a significant sum of money
  • Purchasing or inheriting property or items of value

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For Help Updating Your Estate Plan

If you think you may be in a position to update your estate plan, call O'Donnell Law Center at 573-552-0317. Our experienced Missouri estate planning attorney has helped hundreds of clients design customized estate plans to match each individual client's needs. We would be happy to help you build or update your estate plan so that it accurately reflects your specific situation.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

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