When you created your comprehensive estate plan, you had the idea of it lasting the rest of your life. Unfortunately, things very rarely work out this way. Life changes fast, and your plan needs to reflect that fact. All too often, loved ones discover someone has an outdated plan that is essentially useless, inapplicable to their current lifestyle or situation.
There are no limits to how often you can update your individual plan. If you think a review is necessary, take action and make a note of any changes that are important to you and those that may affect you in the future.
Know when it’s time to make revisions
Here are some of the most common times to update or revise your estate plan:
- Divorce or marriage: Both of these will impact your personal life, finances and estate plan in a number of ways. For example, your spouse may be in line to receive all the assets in your trust upon your death. However, if you divorce, you’ll probably want to change this.
- A new addition to your family: Bringing a child into your family should call for an automatic review of your estate plan. There are many things you’re likely to address, such as ensuring that your new addition is in line to receive assets upon your death and the naming of a guardian.
- The death of someone named in a trust: Maybe your spouse is named as your sole beneficiary. It’s okay to do this, but if they pass on before you, you’ll want to update your estate plan accordingly. After all, you can’t leave your assets to someone who is no longer living.
While there is no concrete rule of thumb on when you should review and update your estate plan, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have any reason to believe that a change would do you good, take a closer look. The only thing that matters is that your estate plan is updated and that you’re comfortable with its conditions. This will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.