If you have taken the step of setting up an estate plan in Ohio, you are already steps ahead of many people who are unprepared for illness or death. An estate plan is not just for an older person, but is important for those who have excessive assets, those who have children and anyone who wants control of where their money and belongings go after they die. Wisebread.com also identifies times when you should update or change your will.

If you marry or divorce after your original estate plan is created, you will want to make some changes to your will. Things do not automatically go to your spouse after you die simply because you were married. Your estate may end up in probate when you could avoid that. On the opposite side of the coin, you will want to remove any beneficiaries that change in a divorce, such as an ex-spouse. Any change of relationship with someone in your family can justify a second look at your estate plan.

If you have a child after your plan is created, you may want to not only add them as a new heir but also provide stipulations in your will that determine who cares for them if you die. If both spouses died, the state may take custody of the children if a guardian is not specified in the estate plan.

You may also deal with the passing of a beneficiary. If you do not have any named heirs when you die, your estate may go to the state instead of to the remaining relatives and friends you have. If your spouse dies while your children are minors, it is especially important to name a guardian.

One additional reason to adjust your will is simple: time. Experts suggest that you look at your will every three to five years to make sure it is updated and current.

This is educational information and should not be interpreted as legal advice.