It’s a tough pill for some people to swallow, but just because you created an estate plan in the past doesn’t mean that you won’t have to revisit it in the future. There are times when doing so is a necessity, as you want to ensure that your estate plan is 100% up to date.
There is no right or wrong time to update your estate plan, but here are some situations that absolutely call for your review:
- The passage of time: For instance, if it’s been many years since you last reviewed your estate plan, take a closer look to ensure that everything still checks out. You could find that something has changed over the years, such as the death of a beneficiary or executor, which requires a change.
- Marriage or divorce: When you tie the knot or move on from your marriage, it will affect your estate plan in a number of ways. For example, if you’re going through a divorce, you probably don’t want to leave your ex-spouse as the beneficiary of your estate.
- Having a child: If you add to your family, either through adoption or birth, it will affect your estate plan and the way you approach your life in general. For example, you may want to add your new child as a beneficiary. You also need to name a guardian for him or her.
- Change of financial circumstances: More specifically, if your assets see a large increase in value, perhaps because of an inheritance of your own, it could change your approach to estate planning.
You don’t have to review your estate plan every month or even every year. However, if anything changes in your life, you need to complete a thorough review that allows you to make the necessary changes.
Don’t look at an estate plan review as a bad thing. Yes, it will take some time and potentially force you to face an uncomfortable situation, but it’s for the better. As you make changes, be sure that you do so in a legal manner. You don’t want to make a mistake that could cost you and/or your family in the future.