Every adult needs an estate plan that outlines their wishes for what will happen after they pass away, as well as plans for their care if they become incapacitated. The thing that many adults do not realize is that they should review the plan periodically after they create it.
It’s imperative that your estate plan always reflects your most current wishes. You should check it and update it if you have major life changes or at least every three years. You also need to do this if there are ever any changes in your circumstances or in any laws, including tax laws, that may affect the plan.
Your family structure changes
If you get married or divorced, have new children or grandchildren, or your children become adults or get married, you should review your estate plan to ensure that it still meets your desires and includes everyone you want to provide for.
You move a new state
Your estate plan normally should be governed where you reside. If you move to a new state, you may want to ensure that your plan is based on the correct laws so there are no administrative or procedural set backs when the time comes for the plan to be administered.
Your financial situation changes
Your estate plan should account for all of the assets you own to some extent. Assets that may seem minimal in value or insignificant can create administrative headaches if not properly incorporated into your estate plan. Depending on the applicable laws and the value of your estate, your plan may also need to address estate tax issues. You can also consider creating a plan that protects some of your assets from the claims of creditors.
You need to change designations
Look at the individuals you have named as the executor, trustees and powers of attorney. If you do not believe they can handle those duties now, if they have passed away, or if they just are not the right people any longer, then you should update the estate plan to reflect the individuals you want in these positions now.
Whether you are creating your initial estate plan or updating one that you have already established, you should ensure that everything is set up in accordance with applicable laws and your desires. Your attorney can help you to do this so that you have the peace of mind in knowing that your family and loved ones are taken care of when you are gone.