Your life rarely remains static. Your estate plan shouldn’t be set in stone either. It’s important to review your estate plan occasionally and to make any necessary updates to reflect your current situation.
Reasons why you might wish to change your plan
People make changes to their estate plan for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons for updating an estate plan include:
- Changes to your family: The birth of a new child or grandchild is a good reason to update your estate plan. When your children marry, you may wish to update your plan to include your in-laws. On the other side, changing your plan after a divorce or a remarriage is often wise. You may also wish to update your beneficiaries if there is a death in your family.
- Changes to your estate: You should update your plan if the value of your estate has significantly increased or decreased. Also, if you have sold an asset that constituted a significant portion of your estate, you will want to take a closer look at your plan.
- Changes to your health or a shift in philosophy: Any comprehensive estate plan should include powers of attorney and advance health care directives. The medical decisions you would have made in your 30s or 40s may not align with how you feel later in life. It is valuable to ensure your plans align with the choices you would currently make regarding your health and well-being.
In general, you should review your estate plan once every three years. Even if you haven’t experienced any significant life changes, it is important to keep this topic in mind, so you are prepared for any future updates.
Estate planning should be an ongoing process
You should discuss your estate plan with a skilled professional. Perhaps your estate plan requires updates you haven’t considered.