When should I make changes to my estate plan?

Making the time to address your estate planning needs can be very difficult. There are typically many other things a person would rather do instead of creating a will or talking about powers of attorney. However, once you do take the time to address your estate planning needs, you can feel relieved and confident in the future.

Having said that, understand that while creating your estate plan is indeed a important step, you also need to review it from time to time to ensure it remains effective. Below, we look at some common life events and changes that might warrant a close review of your estate plan.

  1. You welcome a child or grandchild into the family. Additions to the family are wonderful, but you should be certain there are no unintentional oversights or gaps in your plan.
  2. Your spouse or other loved ones pass away. The death of a loved one can affect your own plans for powers of attorney, beneficiaries, guardianships and executor appointments. 
  3. You move to a new state. Estate planning laws vary from state to state, so it is important to review an existing plan with a local attorney who can help you address any legal issues or obstacles stemming from relocation.
  4. There is a significant shift in your assets. Your estate plan should reflect accurately the entirety of your estate, which means that you should update it when your property, money or liabilities change substantially.

In these and similar situations, taking the time to review and revise your estate plan can be crucial. Not only can it give you peace of mind in knowing your wishes remain protected, it can also prevent any challenges or disputes that often arise when an estate plan is outdated.

If you have any questions or concerns about changing or updating your estate plan, then you should discuss them with an attorney. Doing so can ensure your plan remains enforceable and up to date.

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