It is always a good idea to routinely review an estate plan to ensure it reflects the current wishes of the estate planner. There are some specific examples of times in the estate planner’s life when they should be sure to review their estate plan so it helps to be familiar with when those times are.
The estate planner’s relationships change
If the estate planner welcomes a new child or celebrates a new marriage, they should update their estate plan to include those new people and relationships. Likewise, if they suffer a loss or a divorce, they should also update their estate plan to reflect those changes in their lives too.
The estate planner’s assets or liabilities change
If the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, they should update their estate plan to include those changes. One of the primary purposes of an estate plan is to distribute the estate planner’s property and assets according to how they want them to be distributed and to the beneficiaries they want them to be distributed to. To achieve that important purpose, the estate plan should be updated with any changes to the assets and liabilities of the estate planner.
The estate planner moves
If the estate planner makes a major move to another state, they should revisit their estate plan to ensure it complies with estate planning laws in their new state. Requirements for a will to be valid, for instance, can vary by state so the estate planner wants to ensure their estate plan is valid in their new state as well as their old.
The estate planner’s designations are no longer appropriate
There may be circumstances when the estate planner’s prior designations for executor, guardian or trustee no longer seem appropriate to them. If something changes, they should update their estate plan to accommodate those changes so they have the trusted individuals they feel most comfortable with included in their estate plan.
Estate planning can take care of many of the concerns estate planners may have for their family and loved ones. Keeping an estate plan current can provide continuing peace of mind for both estate planners and their loved ones.