When you create an estate plan, you hope that it will remain in place for many years to come.
While some people are fortunate enough for this to hold true, others find that they need to update their estate plan every now and again.
This is why it's so important to review your current plan every so often. For example, it's good practice to tackle the review process every three to five years.
Here are some of the times when you may need to update your estate plan:
-- You have gone through a major life change, such as a divorce, marriage, or bringing a child into the world. In this case, you should not hesitate to review your current estate plan and make any changes that are necessary.
-- The person you named as your beneficiary is no longer living.
-- You need to make a change in regards to trustees, personal representatives, or guardians.
-- Your children are now of legal age.
-- There was a big shift in the value of your estate, either positive or negative.
-- The recent addition of a major asset, such as a vacation home or a valuable piece of art.
Most people don't want to create an estate plan the first time, let alone continue to review it as their life goes by. However, this is good practice if you want to keep a clear mind and know that your estate will be taken care of in the appropriate manner upon your death.
If you come to find that your estate plan needs an update, you should do three things:
-- Review what you currently have in place
-- Determine which changes make the most sense
-- Take the steps necessary to make the changes legal
It can be a challenge to stay on top of your estate plan, but you don't want to slip behind the process of regularly reviewing what you currently have in place. If a change is necessary, it's best to tackle this without delay. Putting this off will only add stress to your life, and that's not something you need to do.