Estate planning requires taking stock of all the assets you have and then adjusting the plan whenever you gain or lose significant assets. One thing to remember is that much of your wealth could be represented in your life insurance policy. Despite not actually having that money in hand at the time of the planning, it will enter your estate when you pass away, so you must plan accordingly.
This is not an issue for everyone. While more than half of American adults do have some type of life insurance policies, experts put that figure at just 57%. They also warn that many people have policies that are too small to really provide all the benefits they want their families to have if they pass away unexpectedly.
Now, this could tie into your changing estate plan. Maybe you do not have a policy yet, but you plan to get one in the future. When you buy it, you want to carefully consider whom you choose as beneficiaries. Also, consider what that means for the total assets you’re leaving to someone. If you want to split things up evenly, heirs who are going to get some of the life insurance money may get smaller portions of other cash or tangible assets.
Or, perhaps you have a policy, but you’re suddenly wondering if it is enough. If you decide to increase it or buy additional coverage, you want to factor that change into your estate planning.
As always, estate planning is not something that you can do and forget. You need to take an active approach. Make sure you know what steps to take to guarantee that it works well for your family.