As much as it is important to have an estate plan it is also important to know when to update an estate plan. There are key times in every estate planner’s life when they should consider updating an estate plan.
Good times to update an estate plan
Estate planners should keep in mind that they should regularly review and consider updating their estate plan. There are also some key times in the estate planner’s life that should trigger a review of the estate planner’s estate plan.
- Major relocation – if the estate planner moves, they should make sure to check in to ensure their estate plan complies with the laws in their new state because state laws associated with estate planning, including wills, can vary by state.
- Relationship changes – if the estate planner’s relationships change, such as they get married or divorced, they should update their estate plan to incorporate those changed relationships. Also, if the estate planner experiences a death or the birth or adoption of a child, they should also update their estate plan, such as their will, with those changes.
- Assets or liabilities changes – if the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, their estate plan should be updated because one of the primary purposes of an estate plan, including a will or a trust, is to distribute the estate planner’s assets.
- Executor or trustee designations change – over time, the executor or trustee designations included in a will may need to change. Guardianship designations may also change. Estate planners should include those changes in their estate plan. Also, estate planners should keep beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies current.
An estate plan should always be kept current. To do that, estate planners need to know when they should update their estate plan as circumstances in their life changes.