4 Life Events To Trigger An Estate Planning Appointment

You don't need to become the next heir to a 17th century English castle before you are entitled to make estate plans. If you experience any of the following life events, it's time to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney. 


After your child's adoption has been finalized by the court, bring your court decree, child's birth certificate and other financial records to your estate attorney's office. You'll want to rearrange your will to accommodate your new child's inheritance after your passing. Remember to appoint a trusted caretaker or guardian for your underage adopted child. Written stipulations should be made to ensure that your child's inheritance isn't usurped by unscrupulous guardians.

Change of Fortune

If you unexpectedly come into a large sum of money, perhaps through inheritance, lottery winnings, or other means, you should make provisions as to how you want your new, larger estate, to be handled. An estate lawyer may suggest a living trust or other financial vehicles to help ensure the money is used the way you prefer. Tax considerations on your newfound gains can also be advised by an estate planning attorney.

International Move

If you've entered retirement and decided to live permanently abroad, be sure to consult with an estate lawyer before and after your move. International laws may affect the way your foreign residence and other assets are handed down to your heirs. Don't assume that your mortgaged French chateau will automatically fall into the hands of your spouse or children. You might be unpleasantly surprised to discover the red tape regarding inheritance laws that must be negotiated in other countries compared to the relative ease of inheritance laws in the U.S.

Death of a Primary Provider

If you were living with a person who was the primary breadwinner and asset manager in your family and they recently died, consult with an estate planner as soon as possible. Legal counsel will be critical to helping you navigate the complex financial considerations that you now have responsibility for. While your primary provider may have handled all the finances of your family with ease, you may not have the savvy and experience needed to do the same thing, especially on such an unexpected basis. Before you make any serious financial decisions, ask an estate planning attorney for consultation and guidance.

Now you can see that you don't have to be wealthy to require the services of estate planning legal counsel. It just makes good sense to see that your dollars are well cared for.