It’s a good idea to review your estate plan on a regular basis. For instance, you might review your plan regularly, every three to five years. You should also update your estate plan after reach certain milestones or cross certain thresholds in your life.
Family milestones and other changes
Life events that should prompt you to update an estate plan include:
- Your relationships have change: Consider updating your estate plan after big changes in your family life. For instance, if you have divorced or remarried, you should review your will and other documents. Likewise, you should review your plan after the birth or adoption of a child, or after losing a family member.
- Assets or liabilities change: All of your assets and liabilities should be accounted for in their estate plan. If you have acquired or dispensed with major assets since the last time you updated your plan, it’s time to update your documents again.
- You have relocated: If you have relocated to another state, the estate planning laws in the new state may be different from those in your previous residents. Review your plan to make sure it conforms with the laws of your new resident state.
- Designations in the estate plan are outdated: When executor, trustee and guardianship designations become outdated over time, it is important to update them. Beneficiary designations, including retirement plans and life insurance, should also always be kept up to date.
Estate planning needs to account for the estate planner’s life when they establish an estate plan and as their life changes. For that reason, estate planners should be familiar with when they should take a peak and review their estate plan.