When you make an estate plan, you really should think of it as a living thing. It will need to change as you change. It will change as your family grows or as major events happen in your life.
There is no specific timeline for updating an estate plan, but you do need to keep it updated based on your goals for your assets in the future. You should update the estate plan to reflect issues with your health or changes in your family.
When you should review your estate plan?
There are a few times when it makes sense to review your estate plan. These times include major events, such as:
- When you get married
- If you get divorced
- If you change your name
- If you have a child
- If you adopt a child
- If you are diagnosed with a serious illness
- If you would like to change a beneficiary
- If you come into money
- If a beneficiary dies
All of these can be great times to address your estate plan and make changes if they are needed. You may decide that your estate plan is fine as it is, but it is still worth taking some time to review if those things occur.
What if nothing major happens to require changes to the estate plan?
If no major changes happen in your life, then you might think you won’t need to change your estate plan, but you should still plan to review it every few years at the least. You may change your opinion about certain decisions you made in the past, or you may want to add additional documents and protections.
It’s also smart to review your estate plan in case of changes in law. As you prepare long-term care plans or work on how to pass your assets on, you’ll want to consider those changes and how they may impact things like qualifying for Medicaid or passing on gifts to your children with minimal taxation. For all of these reasons, it’s a good idea to keep your estate plan in mind and to update it whenever needed.