Most Missouri residents know that death is an important thing to discuss, yet so many families will put it off until it’s too late. Discussing death and end-of-life situations is always a tough conversation to have. However, estate planning is very beneficial and can ensure that assets are protected. For those families who already have an estate plan, it is recommended that these be revisited and reviewed from time to time. The following are events that may create a need for families to review and update an estate plan.

Estate plans may need to be revised upon a move to another state. State laws can vary and these variations can affect critical parts of a plan such as powers of attorney and living wills. Documents may also need to be updated when there are new additions to the family such as an adoption or the birth of a grandchild. Adding these new family members to documents by name could avoid potential conflicts down the road.

Any change in the value of an estate should always be cause for a review, regardless of a decrease or increase in value. New circumstances could change how assets are to be divided. This could also include changes to retirement accounts and 401(k)’s. One of the most common mistakes in estate planning is neglecting to update the beneficiaries of these accounts.

Families should consider reviewing estate plans at least once a year. Having an updated plan in place now could prevent many difficulties in the future. Missouri families who have questions about estate planning could benefit from discussions with a legal representative. An experienced attorney can provide much-needed guidance and answer any questions that may arise.