Knowing when to update an estate plan is almost as important as developing one to begin with. Keeping an estate plan current as life changes can help ensure the estate planner has the peace of mind the estate plan can create that their family and loved ones will be taken care of according to their wishes.
As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to review and update an estate plan as needed every 3 to 5 five years. In addition, if the estate planner experiences any major life change, it is also a good idea to review and update their estate plan at that time as well. If the estate planner moves to another state, they should make sure to update their estate plan at that time to ensure it complies with all of the estate planning laws in the new state.
In addition, if the assets or liabilities of the estate planner changes, they should ensure that their estate plan is updated to reflect those changes. It is also a good idea to update an estate plan if the estate planner's retirement plan is outdated. Likewise, if an executor, trustee or guardian named in the estate plan changes, it is a good idea to update the estate plan. Updating an estate plan to account for any major life change is always advisable.
For estate planners who already have an estate plan, they may be one step ahead of the game but just as important as setting up an effective overall estate plan is making sure it is current and reflects the current wishes of the estate planner. Estate planning can make sure loved ones are taken care during the most difficult and sensitive times so it should not be put off or neglected.