Knowing when to update an estate plan is crucial and can be as important as setting up an estate plan to begin with. In addition to routinely updating an estate plan, there are several occasions in the life of the estate planner that should prompt them to review their estate plan and ensure it is current.
An estate plan should be updated whenever the relationships of the estate planner changes. This includes if the estate planner marries, divorces or experiences a birth or death in their family such as the birth of a child or the death of a spouse. In addition, estate planners should update their estate plan whenever they make a major move and relocate to another state. Estate planning laws, such as requirements for a valid will, can vary by state so estate planners should ensure their estate plan complies with the laws in their new state.
Another important time to update an estate plan is when the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change. Because an estate plan is intended to distribute the estate planner’s property and assets to their chosen beneficiaries, if any of that changes, the estate planner should update their estate plan to reflect those changes. Lastly, if the executor or trustees named in the estate plan become inappropriate, the estate planner should update them as well as keeping the beneficiary designations on the estate planner’s retirement accounts and life insurance plans up-to-date.
Keeping and updating an estate plan are important parts of life that should not be overlooked. They help estate planners plan for the care of loved ones and provides peace of mind for estate planners and those they love.