How Often Should I Review and Update My Estate Plan?

It is important to review and update your estate plan periodically to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Regular Intervals. At a minimum, individuals should review their estate plan every three to five years. Even if you believe that nothing has changed, it is a good practice to periodically reevaluate your estate plan with an estate-planning attorney, so that you know what the current tax laws are, and to determine whether any amendment to your plan is advisable.
  • Major Life Events. It is imperative to update your estate plan after significant life changes, including:
    • marriage or divorce;
    • birth or adoption of a child or grandchild;
    • death of a beneficiary or named representative including power of attorney, personal representative, guardian, or trustee;
    • inheritance or acquisition of significant assets; and
    • retirement.
  • If you move to a different state or country, it’s essential to ensure that your estate plan complies with local laws.
  • Change in Financial Situation. Significant increases or decreases in the value of an estate, starting or selling a business, or other major financial changes can impact an estate plan, and are a good trigger for a reevaluation.
  • Changes in Tax Laws. Tax laws, especially those related to estates and gifts, can change. It is important to ensure your estate plan is optimized for the current tax environment.
  • Changes in Relationships. If your relationship with a person named in your will changes (e.g., a falling out with a named beneficiary or trustee), you may want to update your estate plan.
  • Changes in Your Wishes. Over time, your preferences regarding asset distribution, healthcare decisions, or guardianship may evolve. Your estate plan should evolve with your preferences.
  • Establishment or Dissolution of Trusts. If you have set up trusts or wish to dissolve existing ones, you should revisit your estate plan.

Feel free to call us. As estate-planning lawyers, we can discuss with you whether it makes sense to review your estate plan based upon changes in your personal circumstances, your wishes, or the law.

Remember, an outdated estate plan can lead to unintended consequences, misunderstandings, and potential legal disputes among heirs and beneficiaries. Regularly reviewing and updating your estate plan will ensure that it accurately represents your wishes and provides the best protection for your assets and for your loved ones.

PROTECT YOUR FUTURE – SCHEDULE A STRATEGY SESSION WITH AN EXPERIENCED ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER.

We invite you to schedule a strategy session with an experienced estate-planning attorney and take the first step towards peace of mind and a secure future.