When Should I Make Updates to My Estate Plan?

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Updates should be made periodically to your estate plan.

You created an estate plan.

You checked it off your list.

Now you can sit back and relax until you die.

According to a recent Forbes article titled “Old Estate Plans May Be Harmful To Your Wealth,” you need to rethink this assumption.

Updates to your estate plan should reflect changes in your life.
Updating your estate plan is essential to protecting your family.

Why?

Circumstances in your life may change.

Federal and state legislation will also impact your estate plan and most people do not pay close attention when laws are changed, even those that impact them or their estate plans.

Regardless any changes in the laws, you should review and update your estate plan whenever major changes occur in your own family.

These changes can include marriage or divorce, births or deaths, and fluctuations in income and assets.

You may need to include a new child in your plans to provide adequate care and protection.

No longer trust a named beneficiary or an appointed fiduciary?

Whoa!

You may want to create a trust to protect the inheritance “for” and “from” the an untrustworthy beneficiary.

While you are at it, change the appointed fiduciaries to only include those who are, well, trustworthy.

Although you are likely aware of changes in your personal circumstances and wishes, you may be unaware of changes in laws, as noted above.

For this reason, it is a good idea to update your plan after changes in tax laws.

But important legal changes can sneak up on you, so it is important to review and update your plan every few years with your attorney.

This will ensure that your plan is both effective and beneficial to you under current legislation and tax codes.

If your original plan involved more complex estate planning with trust, business succession, or blended family matters, you should review and possibly update your plan more frequently.

Has it been some time since you reviewed you plan?

Reach out to your estate planning attorney to make an necessary updates to your plan.

Reference: Forbes (September 27, 2019) “Old Estate Plans May Be Harmful To Your Wealth”