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How often should I update my estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Firm News |

To ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die, you must prioritize estate planning as a crucial part of managing your financial affairs.

However, estate planning is not a one-time event. You must review and update it periodically to reflect changes in your personal circumstances, financial situation, and applicable laws.

Major life changes

A major life event is one of the most critical times for reviewing your estate plan. There are several events that can significantly affect your estate planning needs, including:

  • Marriage or Divorce: A change in marital status can affect beneficiaries and assets.
  • Birth or Adoption: Adding Adding a new child to your family may require updating your will or trust.
  • Death of a Beneficiary or Executor: You must adjust your estate plan if someone named dies.
  • Health Changes: Changes in your health can affect your estate planning decisions, including medical directives.

Financial changes

Changes in your financial situation should also prompt a review of your estate plan. This can include:

  • Acquisition or Sale of Assets:  You should consider your estate plan when buying or selling real estate, businesses, or other important assets.
  • Changes in Income or Wealth: Your assets may need to be re-allocated as your income increases or decreases.

Tax and legal changes

The laws and regulations governing estate planning may change over time. Keeping up-to-date with these changes and reviewing your estate plan is essential to ensuring it remains compliant and beneficial. A lawyer can assist you in navigating these complexities.

Regular review

Review your estate plan every three to five years, even if there are no significant life or financial changes. As a result, your plan remains current and aligned with your wishes.

A regular review and update of your estate plan is crucial to ensuring it accurately reflects your current circumstances and intentions.

By doing so, you will take care of your loved ones according to your wishes. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide valuable guidance if you’re unsure when to review your estate plan or need help with updates.