Knowing when to update an estate plan can be just as important as knowing what to include in an estate plan and understanding the importance of having one. There are several important situations that should trigger a review of an estate plan that every estate planner should be familiar with.
A good rule of thumb when estate planning is to review your estate plan every three years to ensure it is up-to-date and current. An estate plan is intended to accomplish the wishes of the estate planner and if the estate plan is not kept up-to-date, there is a chance it might not be able to do that. Another good time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner has relocated to another state because the laws may be different in the new state and impact the validity of the estate plan.
In addition, whenever there is a major relationship change for the estate planner, it is a good idea to review and update their estate plan. This includes a change such as a marriage or divorce but can also include the birth or adoption of a child. Estate planners should also ensure that their beneficiaries and designees, such as an executor or trustee, are kept current and reflect their relationships and wishes. Lastly, if the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, it is also a good idea to ensure the estate plan accounts for those changes.
Updating an estate plan is important which is why estate planners should view their estate plan as something they should address regularly. A solid estate plan can provide important peace of mind for the estate planner and their families which is why they should be revisited frequently as circumstances warrant.