A current estate plan can protect your loved ones from confusion and discord once you die. Yet, you may spend little time tending to it, which could put its accuracy into question. Your plan, as it stands, may contain provisions misaligned with your current circumstances and wishes. But by knowing when to update it, you can make sure it stays fresh throughout your lifetime.
Major life changes
Whenever you or a loved one experience major life changes, you will want to update your estate plan right after they take place. Failing to review and revise your plan may make it outdated. By leaving your current plan intact, your assets could end up in the hands of someone no longer part of your life. These people could include a former spouse, a relative who is no longer living or a family member who you have a strained relationship with. If the composition of your assets change, your plan must reflect these as well.
You will want to revise your estate plan if:
- Your marital circumstances change
- Your loved one’s marital or personal circumstances change
- You become a parent or grandparent
- A loved one passes away
- You become estranged from a loved one
- You move to – or purchase property in – another state
- Your estate’s value experiences a significant increase or decrease
- You acquire or sell major assets
You or your loved ones may have gone several years without experiencing major life changes. Yet, you will still want to perform periodic reviews of your estate plan to make sure it reflects your wishes and circumstances. By evaluating it at least every three years, you can account for minor events or changes of mind.
An accurate and clear estate plan will make life easier for your loved ones upon your passing. And it can give you peace of mind while you are alive. Consulting an attorney can help you determine if your current plan reflects your circumstances.