As this blog recently discussed, estate planning is important for many reasons. An important element of estate planning is keeping an estate plan current and ensuring it reflects the estate planner’s most current wishes. Estate planners should know when it is a good time to update their estate plan.
Good times to update an estate plan include:
- When a relationship changes: when the estate planner’s relationships change, such as their marital or other relationships, it is a good idea to update the estate plan to reflect any changes. Changes could include a marriage, divorce, birth or death. Estate plans should be kept current related to the estate planner’s spouse, children and other loved ones.
- When the estate planner moves: if the estate planner moves from one state to another, they should ensure that their estate plan is in compliance with the laws in the new state where they reside, as estate planning requirements and regulations can vary by state.
- The estate planner’s assets or liabilities change: if the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, the estate planner should revisit their estate plan to ensure the assets included in the estate plan are as up-to-date as possible.
- If designations in the old will become outdated: estate planners should ensure designations in their estate plan are according to their most current wishes. This can include designations for an executor, trustee or guardian. Estate planner should also keep designations in retirement plans and on life insurance plans are also current.
Estate plans can plan for the future and allow estate planners and their families to rest easy about some of the uncertainty of the future. To realize the full benefit of the estate planning process, it should be kept current which requires estate planners to know when to update their estate plan in addition to regularly reviewing their estate plan.