Creating your estate plan is just the first step in the relatively long process of managing your estate affairs. After its creation, you need to ensure it continues to reflect your wishes and your current life circumstances.
This means your estate plan should get reviewed and updated when necessary. But how do you know when that is?
Forbes discusses different potential reasons you may have for updating your estate plan. First; changes to finances. After all, a big component of your estate plan involves who gets your assets after your death. Any big financial changes should result in a review. This includes positive and negative changes, like falling into debt or coming into money. It also includes the transfer of one asset into another form, like selling real estate.
Next; changes to beneficiaries. The people in your life may come and go. You part ways with friends, family and loved ones all the time for many reasons. Because of this, you want to update your estate plan during any major change to a beneficiary. This often involves the divorce of a spouse, marriage or remarriage. It can also involve adoption, childbirth or the loss through death of a loved one.
Consider reviewing your plan if you move to another city or state, too. Each area has different laws regarding how to handle estate planning. You want to ensure your current plan abides by your new home’s laws.
Outside of these instances, experts suggest you review your plan once every three years. This way, you ensure it is up to date with your current wishes and can review anything that might have grown outdated, which you could have forgotten.