June 14, 2024

If you have created an estate plan, you are already above the two-thirds of adults in the US who do not possess one. But when was the last time you reviewed your plan to be sure it was up to date?

An estate plan should not be set and forgotten. Major life events, family situations, market conditions, and fresh laws are legitimate causes to review your will along with other estate planning documents. To learn more about estate planning, contact an estate planning lawyer.

When is the right time to review and update your estate plan?

Estate planning lawyers often recommend reviewing an estate plan at least once every three to five years. A lot might occur within that time. You want to ensure that your plan reflects current conditions instead of those from a few years ago.

An estate plan evaluation ensures that the current situation is included in the following documents:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Medical and financial powers of attorney
  • Trusts
  • Living will
  • Insurance policies
  • Funeral instructions
  • Financial account beneficiary designations
  • Property deeds and titles
  • Digital logins and passwords (or your “digital estate plan”)
  • Executor’s guidelines

Reasons for Changing an Estate Plan.

Major life events, family issues, laws, economic conditions, and unanticipated incidents, such as the pandemic, may all act as catalysts for reevaluating your plan.

Life Events

A life event is the major reason for updating an estate plan. Life events include the following:

  • Marriage or Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a kid or grandchild.
  • A sudden windfall (e.g., inherited or won money)
  • Purchasing or selling a property or any essential item.
  • Establishing or Selling a Business

Family Situations

In addition to these significant life events, there may be changes in the family dynamics that require evaluating your estate plan, such as:

  • The individual you appointed as executor or powers of attorney may not be the best option.
  • A child or grandchild needs education money.
  • You wish to nominate a new guardian to take care of your children.
  • You decide to put a young beneficiary’s inheritance in trust since they have shown doubtful judgment.
  • You want to disinherit someone and distribute their portion of your belongings.

Engage in future planning with the help of a lawyer.

Where there is a will, there is a means to avoid expensive government intervention in estate administration. A will is only a start, however. A complete estate plan takes into consideration not just what happens to your possessions after you die but also your health, living arrangements, business, and financial needs for the remaining years of your life. Therefore, always take the help of a lawyer when drafting a will.