If you made an estate plan and think this important step is a one-and-done process, think again. Even the most carefully considered plans are not evergreen.
Estate plans can become irrelevant by any manner of things. Changes to your assets, fluctuations in family dynamics and tax code revisions can throw a wrench in your carefully laid plans.
Why should I update?
Ensuring all the elements of your estate plan are up to date can prevent conflict between loved ones after your passing, as well as provide peace of mind that everything is being handled according to your wishes. A will that is twenty years old may leave lingering questions and concerns when the time comes to settle your estate. An old estate plan may also contain provisions that you no longer agree with.
When should I update?
There is no set timeframe for making revisions, as this is something that is specific to each individual. However, it is usually recommended that you perform a review every three to five years. Major life events can also cause people to make adjustments. These can include a birth or adoption, the death of someone you named as beneficiary or executor, marriage or divorce.
Estate planning laws can vary from state to state, so an update may be necessary if you make a move. Acquiring or selling assets is another reason to revisit your plan and make changes accordingly.
You made the right choice in preparing an estate plan, but keeping it current with regular updates is just as important.