An estate plan should not be a static collection of documents. As you experience changes throughout your life, your estate plan should be updated as well. Here are four good reasons for making updates to an estate plan.
1. Your family has changed
You should review your estate plan anytime the makeup of your family has changed. The birth of a child, the birth of grandchildren, divorce, remarriage, and the introduction of stepchildren into your family may all necessitate a change to your estate plan. If your children marry, you may also wish to make updates to reflect the addition of in-laws to your family.
2. Your wishes have changed
You may wish to change your beneficiaries. Perhaps a change in philosophy means your medical preferences have shifted. Whatever the case may be, you should update wills, trusts, and advance health care directives to reflect your current desires.
3. You’ve experienced a significant shift in assets
Maybe you’ve recently acquired a considerable asset. Perhaps you’ve sold a lake home or have divested yourself of a substantial portion of your estate. You should make any necessary updates anytime you’ve experienced a considerable change in assets.
4. Changes in the law
Changes in state law may impact your estate plan. If you’ve moved from another state, you should never assume that your estate plan will have the same effect in your new home. You should review your plan anytime there’s been a change to the law.
Revisit your plan every so often
Generally speaking, you should take a look at your estate plan every three to five years. You should discuss your options with a skilled professional and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing everything is in order.