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Updating wills and other components of an estate plan

The estate planning process requires people in Georgia to make important decisions. However, these decisions are based on their present circumstances which can change drastically over the course of time. As a result, wills and other components of an estate plan need to be reconsidered periodically to to ensure that they continue to meet the person's wishes.

There are multiple goals of estate planning . These goals often include managing wealth, determining how that wealth will be divided following the person's death and naming someone who will make health and financial decisions if the plan creator becomes unable to do so. While estate plans need to be reviewed periodically, there are several circumstances that should also prompt a review.

For example, the serious illness of a loved one could prompt a change if it involves a person previously named as an executor. Additionally, the creator of the estate plan may want to ensure that a person suffering the long term effects of an accident or illness receives the care needed. Changes in family composition, such as the marriage or divorce of the creator of the will or a beneficiary likely requires a modification. Other circumstances that prompt a review include a significant change in wealth, a named trustee's change of mind regarding his or her role as well as the creator's retirement or move to another state.

While some in Georgia may be tempted to create their own estate planning documents, including wills, an experienced attorney can help ensure that no mistakes are made and that the plan accurately reflects the person's wishes. Updating a plan periodically with the help of such a professional can help ensure that it continues to meet a person's wishes, especially after major life changes. Having a well-thought out and updated plan can ultimately relieve some of the stress felt by surviving family members as they cope with their loss.

Source: thecommunityvoice.com, "What to review when updating your estate plan", Ken Weise, Sept. 15, 2016

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