Estate planning is an ongoing process that requires regular updates to ensure the plan still reflects your wishes and meets your current needs. Failure to update estate plans can lead to unintended consequences, such as assets being distributed in ways unintended.
So, how often should you update your estate plans? There is no general answer to this, as the frequency of updates depends on one’s unique circumstances. However, certain events and milestones in life may trigger the need to review and update your estate plans.
Update your estate plans after major life changes
Marriage, divorce, death, birth or adoption of a child and even a relocation are some of the significant life events that should prompt a review of your estate plans. You may need to amend legal documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney to reflect your current situation.
External factors can also warrant an update
Changes in tax laws should be incorporated in your estate plans. Tax laws are subject to change, and these changes can have a significant impact on your estate planning strategies. It’s important to stay up-to-date on any changes in tax laws that may impact your estate plan.
You should also revise your plans if the third parties involved, such as a personal representative, agent or trustee, are no longer available to carry out their roles. In such instances, you need to review your existing plan accordingly.
Get the help you need
It is advisable to undertake a major overhaul of your estate plans every couple of years to ensure everything is intact. You cannot afford loose ends or mistakes when doing this, and you should strongly consider seeking professional guidance.
Taking the proper steps now will help protect your loved ones when you are gone and give you peace of mind knowing that everything is in place should anything happen.