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Events that trigger an estate plan review to prevent litigation

Providing for families members after death is something that many Ontario residents work toward. They create estate plans they believe accomplish this goal -- at the time. The problem is that an estate plan may not always fit their families' circumstances. Certain events require a review of those plans in order to make sure they still apply and will not potentially give rise to litigation upon death.

One event that should trigger a review of an estate plan is divorce. During the marriage, Ontario couples often make sure they provide for each other. For example, changing beneficiary designations is vital in order to ensure that the proceeds from the accounts they are attached to go where an individual intends them to go.

A marriage should also require a review of existing estate-planning documents. Individuals need to address issues such as providing for a new spouse or protecting the inheritances of children from a prior at this time. Some people execute pre or postnuptial agreements, which serve as part of the estate plan.

People also tend to change their estate plans when a child is born into the family. Whether it is a child or a grandchild, changes to the estate plan may be needed in order to include him or her. Perhaps one of the more important additions to the plan for parents is the appointment of a guardian for the child should something happen to the parents.

Individuals may experience other life events that require changes to an estate plan. Whatever prompts the review, if adjustments, modifications or changes are appropriate, they need to be made in accordance with current law. Failing to make changes could be problematic enough, but failing to make them correctly could result in litigation as well.

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