Warning signs you need estate planning

Charlie Brown Law, sitting with paint brush Some warning signs that indicate you need to update or review your estate planning documents

  • You have no estate plan!
  • You have moved to North Carolina from another state or country.
  • Your family changes – births, deaths, adoptions, marriages, engagements (think prenuptial agreements) and divorces.
  • You separate from your spouse or are divorced.
  • You or your spouse is terminally ill, incapacitated or needs long term care.
  • Your estate plan has not been reviewed in five years, or you hear about a new tax change.
  • Emerging needs of beneficiaries due to illness, death, disability or changes in wealth.
  • Your planning involves “new” spouse and family members who are not the “new” spouse’s children.
  • Retirement benefits comprise significant portion of wealth.
  • You have not reviewed your beneficiary designations for retirement benefits or life insurance.
  • You plan to buy or sell a business (don’t wait until sale takes place!).
  • You have no written plan for your business on your death or retirement, you need to change the existing plan, or you do not understand the plan.
  • You desire to make major lifetime gifts.
  • Your assets change (purchase or sale of real estate, purchase any property in another state or country, current or anticipated appreciation in particular assets).
  • You receive an inheritance, or expect to receive an inheritance soon.
  • You plan to purchase life insurance.
  • Your family limited partnership or LLC has not been recently reviewed.
  • You decide to add or make changes to a charitable beneficiary’s share.