Florida residents who have estate plans in place are already ahead of the curve. Even so, after the creation of an estate plan, the estate planning process is not complete. In fact, estate planning is an ongoing process that requires regular reviews to ensure the plan's continued effectiveness.
All too many people create estate plans, store the associated documents away and then forget all about them. While this may sound harmless, failing to review your estate plan can have dire consequences in some situations. For example, if you were married when you created your estate plan and you have since divorced, you may find that your estate plan still lists your former spouse as your primary beneficiary.
Other examples of changes that may affect estate planning are births, deaths and remarriages. Failing to review estate plans after any of these events can result in disaster at the time of your death. For example, if you left all your grandchildren equal inheritances, but you forgot to add your youngest grandchild, feelings could be hurt. Similarly, if you originally left assets to a daughter-in-law and failed to remove her from your will after a divorce from your son, your son could be left without an inheritance.
Because families change, it is a good idea for all Florida residents to review their estate planning documents annually. If a major life event occurs, it may be wise to go ahead and make changes at that time to ensure that, should the unexpected occur, the necessary changes have been implemented. If you need help creating an estate plan that fits your needs or you need help adjusting your existing plan to fit your current situation, you may find the assistance of an experienced attorney invaluable.