After creating your estate plan, you likely let it set for a few years – or more. You may think that most of its provisions will still stand, even after leaving it untouched. But by neglecting to review your plan, your estate runs the risk of being inaccurate or outdated. Failing to update it could also cause confusion for your beneficiaries down the road.
Reasons to update your estate plan
Barring any major life changes, you will want to revisit your estate plan every three to five years. Doing so will help you make sure its provisions still reflect your assets and intentions. Reviewing your plan will also allow you to account for any minor life events that could affect it.
Yet, major events may require you to update your estate plan sooner. You may want to do so in the case of:
- Marriage, divorce or remarriage
- The birth of a child or grandchild
- The death of a beneficiary or your executor
- A strained relationship with a beneficiary or your executor
- A change in the circumstances of a beneficiary
- The creation or closing of a business
- The purchase or sale of real estate or other major assets
- A major increase or decrease in the value of your assets
- A move to a state with different tax laws
- Any changes to federal or state tax laws
Making updates to your estate plan
Once a major event happens in your life, you will want to update your estate plan right afterward. Making immediate changes will ensure it reflects your present circumstances. Failing to do so could cause your assets to disburse in a manner at odds with your wishes.
Updating your estate plan may seem simple enough. Yet, the process can come with complexities, especially when these changes are major. An attorney can help you make sure your plan is sound and accurate.