It is just as important to keep an estate plan fresh and up-to-date as it is to have one to begin with. Estate planners should be familiar with important times to update their estate plan. No two estate plans are alike and estate planning tools provide the flexibility to meet the needs of estate planners and to also adjust as their lives change.
Important times to update an estate plan
There are a series of situations during which it is important to update an estate plan including:
- When the estate planner’s overall net worth increases;
- When there has been a change in tax laws;
- When they have suffered the death of a spouse or family member;
- Following an inheritance;
- If they have gotten divorced;
- After they have gotten married;
- Following the sale of a business or property;
- Following the start of a new business venture; or
- Following the birth of a child or grandchild
Annual review of the estate plan
It is also a good idea to review an estate plan annually. The documents included in the estate planner’s estate plan may need updating or they may need to add a document. If the estate plan did not previously include a guardianship provision, for instance, they may want to add one with the birth of a new child. Maybe the estate planner wants to add a trust for tax purposes or change a beneficiary designation in their will. For all of these reasons, estate planners should regularly review their estate plan for currentness and always update it following major life changes or events.