No one could have predicted all of the unexpected events that have transpired this year. The global health crisis has impacted virtually every facet of our lives. Employment has become less secure and harder to obtain. Stay-at-home orders have put strain on interpersonal relationships.
With the world in a seemingly exacerbated state of flux, are you doing everything you should to adapt to the change? Anytime you experience a major life change, you should amend your estate plan to reflect it. Here are some changes that many of us may need to factor into our estate plans this year:
Change in family
Rising unemployment and forced proximity can create added challenges for marriages that were already struggling. Consequently, there has been a marked increase in divorce rates during this time. If you and your spouse have decided to part ways, it’s important to update your estate plan so that your ex is no longer listed as your beneficiary.
Change in economic circumstances
Any major change – positive or negative – in your assets warrants an update to your estate plan. If you’re facing the possibility of bankruptcy or have experienced a decrease in the value of your assets, it’s worth discussing these changes with an estate planning lawyer.
Change in health
The last few months have forced us all to take a cold, hard look at our own mortality. If you were to suffer sudden illness or incapacity, do you have the necessary plans in place? Do you have a healthcare directive and a designated power of attorney? Do you have guardians lined up to care for your children?
Change in residence
Many people have moved as a result of the current health crisis. Perhaps you left an outbreak epicentre to live somewhere that felt safer. If this move took you to a different part of Canada, then it’s important to understand that estate planning laws vary by province. You should work with a local estate planning lawyer to update your estate plan according to local laws.
We’re living in an unprecedented time. The world seems to be changing faster than we can keep up with. However, an estate planning professional can help ensure that your future plans align with your current circumstances.