When Should I Update My Estate Plan?

When we draft a new estate plan for a client, they often want to know when they should come back to update their plan.

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Many events can trigger the need to update an estate plan. Here are a few that we tell our clients:

  1. When you are planning to get divorced or if you have recently gotten divorced. In many states, once you file for divorce, you are unable to make changes to your will. However, once your divorce is finalized, that will very likely require changes to your estate plan. You will also want to update beneficiaries on life insurance policies and other accounts.
  2. If your family changes, by way of a new baby, a child getting married, or if a young child ages. These can all change your estate plan.
  3. If your financial circumstances change. This could be for better or worse. For example, if you receive a large inheritance, this could impact your tax liability and therefore, your estate plan.
  4. If your beneficiaries, executors, or trustees change in status. If someone named in your estate plan dies or becomes incapacitated, obviously you will want to change your documents. There may be other issues to consider too. For example, if a beneficiary develops a drug habit, you may want to address that in your documents by controlling the disbursement of funds. You may also want to put in no contest clauses if your beneficiaries don’t get along or start having problems with each other.
  5. If the law changes. When the law changes, it is important to update your documents so that your wishes can still be carried out in your intended manner. If there are big changes to the law, make sure to update your estate plan. It is also wise to check with your attorney every few years to determine if any legal updates require changes to your estate plan.

There are many other reasons you may want to update your documents such as if your wishes change or you want to structure your documents differently.

If you think you need to update your documents, contact us today.

We will help you to avoid the common estate planning mistakes and make sure that you, your family and your assets are best protected.

Contact us today to help you get the right documents in place or to update your current estate plan. We will plan so that you don’t have to worry about your future.   

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