When Should I Update My Estate Plan?

Knowing when an estate plan should be revisited is part of the estate planning process. An estate plan is valuable because of the protection and security it provides for estate planners and their families which may be untrue if it is not kept current.

There are several situations in life that should merit an estate plan update. One at the top of the list is if there is any major relationship change in the estate planner’s life. This can include if the estate planner marries, divorces, or a child is added to the family. It can also apply if the estate planner suffers a death. The estate planner’s estate plan should reflect these changes.

Another important time to update an estate plan is if the estate plan experiences another major life change such as a major move. Because requirements for a will and other estate planning documents can vary by state, the estate planner should ensure if they have moved to another state that their estate plan complies with the laws in the new state and that it is valid.

In addition, if the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, their estate plan will need to be updated to account for the change. Another important time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner’s retirement plan and beneficiary designations are out-of-date. Beneficiary designations in a retirement or insurance plan are controlling so they need to be kept up-to-date at all times.

Estate planning is a useful process that must be revisited as the estate planner’s life changes. Knowing when to take another look is important for estate planners to be aware of.