The modern family often incorporates second and third marriages, step-children, half-children and common law spouses. We often recommend to our clients that they create a 'global' estate plan, incorporating other agreements such as cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements. Having these documents well-synced to wills and powers of attorneys can go a long way in sorting things out when plans go awry.
Typically, there are a number of triggering events which signal to an individual that it is time to organize his or her estate or will. If you have not yet made a will or updated it in many years, the following events should provide you with the necessary swift kick in the butt to meet with a professional and organize your estate plan.
I have not always been so blunt about death or talking about death. To be honest, before my husband died, I never said the word. I was superstitious and felt that by uttering the word I was inviting trouble. I did not have a will, afraid that I would jinx myself. That all changed the day my world collapsed and my healthy 44-year-old husband died suddenly. I had to face the "D-word" head on. There was no turning around and avoiding it.