How often should you update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2022 | Elder Law & Estate Planning

Most of the documents in your estate plan are revocable, meaning that you can make changes to them whenever you want to. This may include scrapping an old, outdated document altogether and replacing it with a new one that is more accurate.

According to CNN Money, you should review your estate plan routinely on an annual basis to make sure that it still accurately reflects your wishes. You should also review it following any major life changes, whether positive or negative.

Positive life changes

Positive life changes that could affect your estate plan include adding new members to your family, whether through marriage or the birth or adoption of a child. While it can be difficult to think about end-of-life issues in the midst of a joyous event, it is important to update your estate plan to avoid leaving out the new family member if something should happen to you.

Do not assume that you do not need an estate plan when you get married because your spouse will automatically inherit everything. This is not always true, nor is it always desirable. If you have minor children, you should make out a will as soon as possible to name a guardian for them.

Negative life events

At the time of your marriage, you may have updated your estate planning documents so that your spouse would be your primary heir, power of attorney and perhaps the executor of your will. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, you may not want these arrangements to continue, so you should update your estate plan to reflect this.

Another unfortunate circumstance in which you may need to update your estate plan is upon the death of an heir or a designated fiduciary, such as a trustee or the executor of your will.

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