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Reviewing Your Estate Plan After Major Life Changes

While it’s not something most people like to consider, estate planning is critical.  It’s important to know that if something were to happen to you, that your wishes will be respected and your loved ones protected.  As you move through life, your last wishes can change and it’s important to update your estate plan accordingly.

Here are some big life changes that will indicate that you need to review and update your estate planning documents:


Without an updated estate plan, you are essentially leaving your spouse and the rest of your family in the dark if you were to pass away or become suddenly incapacitated.  To make certain that your spouse and loved ones receive what you would like them to have, you must review your plan and make any necessary adjustments as soon as you are married.


A marriage license does not necessarily mean that your new spouse will be entitled to your estate when you pass away.  It is important to discuss your wishes with your new spouse and your attorney to determine what changes need to be made to your estate plan.

Becoming a Parent

Upon the birth of a child, beyond considering your assets, you will need to select a guardian to take care of your child in case you are unable to do so yourself.  If this is not specified in your estate plan, your children may end up in the care of guardians you did not approve.


There are many legal issues surrounding divorce including custody of minor children, distribution of shared property, and spousal support.  There are also the emotional issues that will surface throughout the divorce proceedings.  Reviewing your estate plan after a divorce is essential to ensure your wishes are protected.

Death of a Loved One

Upon the death of a loved one, updating your estate plan is not usually top of mind but it is an important action to take.  If a beneficiary dies, you will need to make sure your estate plan is updated to reflect any changes you would like made to the distribution of your assets after you pass away.


Who will care for you if you become ill or disabled?  There are many decisions that will need to be made with regard to your care and wellbeing.  Ensuring that your current wishes are articulated in your estate plan helps to guarantee that your loved ones will experience less heartache if the unthinkable were to happen.

As you move through big life changes, it is important to plan ahead and keep your estate plan up to date.  You will find peace of mind knowing that your family and loved ones are protected if anything were to happen to you.

To discuss your specific needs and to find out how our estate planning attorneys in Pittsburgh can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.