Creating an estate plan and letting it sit dormant for the rest of your life is not the best idea. When you finalize and sign your estate plan you cannot just put it away and never look at it again. In fact, there are certain milestones in life that should remind you to review your estate plan and make any appropriate changes to reflect where you are in life right now.
The first time you create an estate plan will likely be when you get married. Make sure both of your names are on all of the documents and that you are listed as your spouse’s beneficiary (and vice versa) on all financial documents.
The birth of your first child should trigger a review of your estate plan, if you have one, or the creation of one. Each time a new child is born you need to update the estate plan to reflect the number of children in your life.
Did you finally buy your first home? Now would be a great time to update the estate plan. Homeownership, or even owning any type of real estate, is a great time to review the plan and make changes.
If you have filed for divorce, you need to update your estate plan once it is finalized. You might even consider making a brand new plan so you can start from scratch.
Are you a grandparent now? The birth of grandchildren is another great milestone in life where you should update your estate plan.
Now that you know the milestones that should trigger an estate plan review, make sure you speak with your attorney when the time comes. Don’t let your plan get stagnant and outdated. Review it periodically throughout your life and make the necessary changes.