When you should update your estate plan depends on the Six D’s.  What are the “Six D’s”? They are: death, divorce, diagnosis, distance, dividend and dates.  In other words, if someone or something in your last will and testament, financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney (an advance directive for health care here in Georgia), your living will (included in your advance directive for health care), your HIPAA release, your nomination of guardianship, your trust has been impacted by one of these six events, you should read through your planning and consider whether changes need to be made.

In previous posts, we discussed in Pt. 1 what to consider if someone receives a new diagnosis.  In Pt. 2, we discussed what happens if you or someone you named in your plan transitions through divorce.

This article will be about when someone moves a distance away from you or towards you, or perhaps you and your family move.

This “D” is best illustrated through examples.  Here is one example if you have young kids. All of your family lives outside of Georgia.  You have no family here.  So you name a good friend of yours who also has young kids to care for your children in the event of an emergency so that it would allow your family to get to Georgia. You name her in your Nomination of Guardianship of Minor Children. Your friend’s spouse gets a new job and they move several hours away.  You are sad and your kids are sad, but what about your estate plan?  Does your plan now need to change?

Another example for parents of adult children who have named one of your children to be Executor in your last will and testament.  Your child is establishing their own lives and becoming more successful in their choice of careers.  You are so proud of them when they let you know that they took a new position with a new company and they will be traveling most weeks out of the year, sometimes out of the country.  You think of the exciting things they will see and maybe even think of visiting them as they travel.  But what about your estate plan?  Does it make sense to have them named as Executor?

Finally, what happens if you move?  Perhaps you don’t have children and you are about to start looking for a job that will take you up to retirement (or you hope will!).  You want to retire to another state, so you are taking a job that will get you closer to that state.  Perhaps you get a new job and move to Georgia?  Do you need a new estate plan?

You moving or someone in your plan moving a considerable distance or even out of state or to Georgia doesn’t automatically mean you need a new estate plan or even need to update your estate plan.  But it does definitely mean that you should consider pulling your last will and testament, your financial power of attorney, your healthcare power of attorney, your living will, your guardianship, your trust, and other important estate planning documents out of their safekeeping place and review them. If you want to make changes or think of what options are available to you because of this new move, reach out to us.