When there are significant life events and changes in the law, it may be time to revisit your estate plan. But how do you know that it's time? What do you need to change? How soon should you make changes?
In general, it is a good idea to revisit your estate plan once every few years. That way, you can ensure that your estate plan reflects your current situation and goals. Relationships change over time, and you may wish to select a different individual to look after your children or a new beneficiary to receive an inheritance from your estate. Every person's situation is different, and you should consult an attorney before making changes to your estate plan
Life events may cause you to update your plan
Your situation will change over time, and a regular review of your estate plan can accommodate these changes. However, there are specific life events that could require you to make changes to your estate plan immediately. This includes:
- Divorce or marriage
- The birth of a child or an adoption
- A child reaching the age of 18
- Forming or dissolving a business
- A selected guardian for your children moving away, becoming ill or passing away
- Other individuals named in your estate documents pass away
- Substantial changes to your financial situation and assets
These types of life events may require you to update your will, power of attorney, trust or other estate tool. You should try to make these changes as soon as possible in order to avoid issues if something were to happen to you.
Changes in the law can change the meaning of your documents
Estate law does not change frequently. But when it does, it is important to speak with your attorney about how those changes impact your estate plan. Your attorney should stay up to date on the law, and send you notification if a change requires you to revisit your estate plan and strategy.