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How often should you update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2021 | Estates & Trusts |

When was the last time you took a look at your estate planning documents? 

You may have followed the norm and gone with the “out of sight, out of mind” approach. But changes in life occur and you may need to make adjustments to your will and related documents. 

Keeping documents secure

You probably breathed a sigh of relief after you created your estate plan, and, like many other people, put the documents in a safe place and promptly forgot about them. When exactly was that? Five years ago? Twenty-five years ago? No doubt a lot has happened in your life since then. Would any of the changes necessitate updating your estate plan? 

Making changes

Think about all that has happened in your life, even in the past five years. There are many reasons for reviewing your estate plan: 

– certain beneficiaries named in your will or trust are now deceased 

– you have a new grandchild to add to your will 

– you divorced two years ago 

– you recently moved from New York to California 

– California laws will impact your estate plan differently 

– your estate has increased in value since you created your estate plan 

– you sold a piece of property listed in the original plan 

– your child has reached the age of 18 

Following up

A major reason to create an estate plan is to pass assets along to family members when you are gone. You want to do all you can to make the distribution easy and protect the family members you leave behind. Since so many changes can happen in your life—and theirs—it is a good idea to review your estate plan every three to five years and make any adjustments necessary. 

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