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Remember to update your estate plan

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Estate Planning

It is certainly wise to make an estate plan in advance. You never know exactly how long you have. You may have decades, or just a few days. Your family is protected if you have an estate plan on file, even if they don’t use it for years to come.

But one of the problems with making an estate plan early is that you may neglect to update that plan. Some people make a plan and then entirely forget about it. When they pass away, their family discovers that the will is 20 years out of date. It’s no longer relevant, and they have a very complicated situation to sort out.

When should you make these updates?

There are two basic schools of thought for reviewing your estate plan and deciding if it’s time for an update. The first is that you do this on a schedule. You simply pick your desired frequency, such as deciding to review your estate plan bi-annually. Every two years, you go over the paperwork and see if there have been any major changes to your assets or your family, and then you make updates when needed.

The second school of thought revolves more around key life events. A child is born. You get married or divorced. You sell major assets. One of your beneficiaries passes away. These are just a few examples, but any time that major life events occur, then you see if your estate plan needs to be altered.

Naturally, you can also blend these two tactics together, reviewing your plan on a set schedule and also making updates after big life events. No matter what you decide to do, be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take as you go through the process.