After creating an estate plan, one cannot simply let it sit and leave it untouched for years and years at a time. Updating an estate plan is an important part of its management.
But how can you tell when it is time to make updates?
Updating with every major life change
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel discusses reasons to update your estate plan. First, you should always update your estate plan any time you go through significant changes in any major area of your life.
This includes changes to your family such as divorces, marriages, adoptions or the birth of a new child, or estrangement. It includes financial changes, such as coming into a large sum of money via inheritance or falling into significant debt. It also includes other changes to assets, such as purchasing or selling new property.
Additionally, if you move to a new place, you should check the local laws regarding estate plans. In some cases, you may need to rewrite yours to ensure that it remains relevant and acceptable under the legal standards of your new home.
Keeping on top of reviews
However, you should not leave your estate plan without updates just because nothing major seems to change in your life. Generally speaking, you should review your estate plan for potential updates once every three to five years. This gives you time to ensure that everything suits your current desires and that you have not forgotten about anything important.
Of course, there are no actual laws dictating when you should update your plan. In the end, it is simply up to every individual’s best judgment.