Some individuals with estate plans don’t bother to update them because they assume there won’t be any major changes in their lives. But as the old saying goes, “Tomorrow isn’t promised to you.”
Though possessing an estate plan is better than not having one at all, neglecting to update it can be catastrophic. Here are four possible consequences of an out-of-date estate plan.
Family members can miss out on their rightful inheritance
Many families experience change and growth. For instance, some divorce and marry other people or adopt children. If you pass away before making the necessary changes to update your estate plan, current spouses and children can miss out on their share of the inheritance, which leads to will contests.
Orphaned children may be in the care of unsuitable guardians
If you have minor children, you should appoint guardians to care for them should something happen to you. Otherwise, the courts will decide who cares for them. This can result in your kids living with a toxic relative or an abusive foster home.
Your estate plan could go through probate
Outdated estate plans usually confuse others, especially if someone made multiple wills or information in a will and a trust contradict each other. Therefore, probate courts have no choice but to sort it out. The probate process can take months or years to complete. Plus, it exposes private information to the public.
Someone could steal any digital assets you own
Running an online business and buying/selling cryptocurrency is becoming more and more common. If you don’t transfer ownership to a trusted individual before your death, an unscrupulous person could hack it and steal your identity.
Updating your estate plan as soon as possible will save your heir/beneficiaries from adverse scenarios. If you need help ensuring a current estate plan, consider seeking experienced legal guidance.