Estate plans are not static pieces of legislation. As their purpose is to accurately reflect your life at any given point in it, you should ensure that it actually gets updated frequently.
But how do you know when it is time to review your plan to see if you need to make any updates?
Making changes when your beneficiaries change
Forbes talks about reasons to update your estate plan. Generally speaking, you should review your plan every time you go through a major life change — especially when it comes to matters surrounding beneficiaries, assets, or your location.
Regarding beneficiaries, this includes any potential loss or gain of future beneficiaries. This occurs through average erosion and the building up of new and old relationships over time. It can include divorces, marriage, birth, death, falling outs or arguments, and more.
Focusing on assets
For assets, you should make sure that they reflect the assets you intend to give to your beneficiaries. This means you should review and edit your estate plan any time you face major financial changes that you predict will last for several months or more. This can include coming into large sums of money, transferring asset types, or falling into debt.
For the location, if you move to a new state you want to review your plan to ensure it complies with the new state’s estate plan laws. After all, every state has a different way of handling estate matters.
Even if you do not have major changes in your life, you should consider reviewing your plan every three to five years to ensure it stays updated and aligned with your life.