It is probably time for an estate planning update

Most people in Lake Charles understand the importance of creating an estate plan. Perhaps less well understood is the importance of updating that plan. When people do not revisit the estate planning process to make necessary changes, their wills, trusts and other important documents might not be as effective as originally expected. Here a few reasons why it might be time to update an estate plan.

For those who recently moved to Louisiana, it is time to update. State laws govern how estates are handled, so a will that was created elsewhere might not be effective or even valid in the state of Louisiana. Powers of attorney, living wills and trusts might also need to be updated to ensure that a person's wishes are still fully respected.

Changing assets and liabilities is another reason to have another look at an estate plan. Since a will is supposed to list a person's property, it cannot function effectively if it has not been updated to reflect new or lost property. Buying or selling a home, switching vehicles, securing a new investment, cashing out an old one or any other number of changes should always be reflected in the will. Otherwise, heirs and family members might be left confused about what their inheritances actually are.

Another reason to perform an estate planning update? People's values and affections change. It is completely valid for an individual to decide to donate more to charity or to leave an asset to a different person than originally planned. To avoid leaving behind an ineffective estate plan or giving assets to a person they are no longer close with, Lake Charles residents should be certain to routinely update their plans.

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