The thought of sitting down and creating an estate plan can be challenging enough for many people. So, to constantly revisit and update it might seem like a daunting chore. However, when you review, amend and update your estate plan, you ensure that your plan terms and instructions align with your wishes, even when they change.
Generally, the accepted period of time that you should review your estate plan is every three to five years. But, you may also want to update your estate plan after any of the following significant life changes.
1. You gain or lose a member of the family
Marriage, divorce, birth and death are all part of life. And you may see family members come and go over the course of yours. If and when any of these life events happen, consider taking a look at your estate plan. You may have to remove a deceased beneficiary or add a new member of the family to your list of inheritors. You might even want to adjust beneficiary designations and split your assets differently depending on the current family members in your life.
2. You move out of state
If you ever decide to relocate to a different state, you may want to take a look at your estate plan and review your documents. You may not have to make significant changes to anything. However, you might need to consider updating your personal representative to someone more local if you do move out of state.
Also something to take note of is that some laws concerning the implementation of estate planning documents vary state by state. It’s good to review your plan so that you can check that your estate plan abides by your new home-state laws.
3. Your estate sees a significant change in value
This generally applies to higher-value items in your estate, such as property. It may also occur if you acquire or sell a piece of property, small business or any other significant part of your estate. Whether its value increases or decreases, your estate plan is going to need some reassessment and reorganization.
Life is ever-changing. And your estate plan should change with it. Because there are a lot of elements to an estate plan, it can be a daunting and even bothersome task to have to constantly review and make changes. However, in the end, it’ll have been worth it to put in the time to make sure your estate plan is up-to-date and exactly how you’d like it to be.