When you first created your estate plan with your loving spouse of many years, you likely utilized a strategy that was designed to primarily benefit each other. Unfortunately, the tragic loss of a spouse may change these goals over time. It is important to modify your living trust and other estate planning documents after the death of a spouse.
Four Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan After the Death of a Spouse
After your beloved spouse has passed on, it is important to take time to consider whether it is time for an update to your overall estate plan. Following are four common reasons as to why this is the case:
- Your spouse was likely your primary fiduciary when you first created your estate plan. Now that your spouse has passed away, you may wish to update these provisions and add new backups in roles such as trustee or personal representative.
- Your spouse was likely your primary beneficiary. You may wish to update your estate plan to name a new primary beneficiary or group of beneficiaries.
- Now that your spouse has passed, your priorities may have changed. For example, your goal previously may have been to leave everything to your surviving spouse. Now that your spouse has passed, however, you may wish to use trust assets with other goals in mind. This may include things like encouraging beneficiaries to go to college or giving beneficiaries an opportunity to buy a home or start a business.
- All of your estate planning documents likely make reference to your spouse throughout. It is a good idea to update your documents to remove these references and incorporate any changes or revisions that you wish.
As your trusted estate planning attorneys, we will provide guidance and advice about the updates you should make to your plan. We have done so for many other clients—with privacy and compassion. To learn more about their experiences, we encourage you to view our client testimonials page today.