There are times in life that can come at you so quickly that your plans for your estate can stop matching the realities of your situation. If the following 5 life events occur, it may be time to get in touch with an estate planning attorney.


Admittedly, for a lot of folks, this is the first time that even talking with an estate planning lawyer appears on their radar. Getting married means major changes in your tax situation, and it also introduces a person who has a claim on your estate if you die. Notably, spouses often can receive benefits from certain types of accounts, such as checking, savings, and brokerage accounts, without having the money go through a will or a probate proceeding. All of this needs to be sorted out and put down in writing to ensure everything will be handled with minimal effort.

Birth of a Child

You'll notice a pattern where expanding a family tends to introduce new potential beneficiaries of an estate. Especially when your kids are young, you'll want to have enough life insurance coverage and money in place to address the risk of losing one or both of their parents. Dependent kids are also one of the main reasons that people establish trusts, ensuring that things are taken care of when a child is too young to manage finances competently.

Kids Get Older

They do grow up fast, and that means your estate may end up looking outdated relative to how competent your offspring are. Particularly as your children become adults capable of managing their finances and dealing with complex subjects, you may want to realign your estate plans to give them more control. Likewise, you may want to cash out life insurance policies and transfer your wealth into other financial vehicles with an eye toward growth rather than safety.


Even if you want an ex-partner to have some claim on your legacy, you should have an estate planning attorney draw up new paperwork. This should account for all the concerns that appear in the previous heading under marriage, including reversing certain rights that may have been assigned.

Business Situations

Starting or ending a business imposes estate planning issues, too. In particular, your voting rights in the business should be assigned to a trusted party in case you were to become incapacitated. Likewise, your stake in the business should be directed to a named beneficiary upon your passing.

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