As you’ve aged, you’ve always kept up with your estate plan. You have a basic plan, but when you got married or divorced, you reviewed it and made changes. When new children were born, you added them as heirs.
One thing that you may also want to remember is that your estate plan should account for people passing away before you or before the assets can pass to them. If this is something you haven’t put into your plan, think about the reasons why it could be important.
For example, you may have your daughter as the single heir to your estate. If she is driving with you when you’re both involved in a fatal collision, then she will no longer be able to inherit the estate. Instead, the state’s laws will apply and pass it on to the next potential heir. If you have parents, siblings or other children, the estate could end up being split among them instead of going to your granddaughter or your daughter’s spouse.
To avoid that kind of situation, something you can do is create contingency plans. For instance, you may include verbiage that states that you want your daughter to inherit the property. However, if she is unable to do so, you then want it to pass to her family or children specifically.
It’s normally a good idea to name multiple heirs if you don’t want the state to decide how to divide your estate during the probate process. Doing so can help you truly establish your wishes and make sure that the people you want to have benefit from your assets do so.