There is always something we need to do better our future, but this does not mean it is easy to take these steps. It can take a lot of courage to initiate the estate planning process. It’s not easy to address your own mortality, and the thought of how to divide your assets amongst your loved one’s can be stressful, especially when expectations are high. Although some individuals feel a massive sense of relief once they complete their estate plan, they are far from being done with the matter. Those who fail to revisit their estate plans may very well be putting their estates in jeopardy.
There are many risks associated with a neglected estate plan. First, one’s plan may fail to contain documents that address important issues that have arisen since its first creation. For example, a medical directive may be needed or modified over the course of time. Second, failing to look at your estate plan from time-to-time can mean that you fail to change your beneficiaries as needed. This could result in loved ones being left out of asset distribution. It might also mean that unwanted beneficiaries are still able to claim property against your wishes.
Also, you’re likely to accumulate new property after the initial drafting of your estate plan. Although your initial will may spell out how your personal property is to be distributed upon your death, it won’t address your newly acquired property. Therefore, your will may need to be modified to ensure that your property is passed on in a fashion that meets your wishes.
These are just a handful of the issues that can arise when an estate plan is not revisited. It is unfortunate when estates wind up getting tied up in probate or are passed on in contradiction to an individual’s wishes simply because he or she neglected to keep important documents up to date. The matter is wholly preventable, though, which is why those who have created an estate plan should speak with their attorney to determine if and when they should make necessary changes.