You create an estate plan with the knowledge that you currently have. However, when your life changes in the future, it’s critical to review your plan and modify it as necessary.
There are specific times in your life to update your estate plan, including the following:
- Divorce: Once you decide to dissolve your marriage, review your estate plan with the idea of updating it to reflect your new life. For example, if your ex was named your agent in your health care proxy, you’ll probably want to change this.
- Marriage: Just the same as divorce, marriage is a good time to review your estate plan. Now that you’ve tied the knot, there’s a good chance you want to add your spouse to your estate plan, such as the beneficiary of your assets.
- Children: If you bring a child into the world or adopt, it calls for a thorough review of your estate plan. For instance, you need to know what would happen to your child in the event that you and your spouse pass away before they reach the age of 18. You can tackle this concern by naming a guardian.
- Your financial circumstances change: You don’t have to do this with every minor change, but should there be a major adjustment to your circumstances it’s critical to take action. Maybe you receive an inheritance, so the value of your estate doubled (or more) overnight. Or maybe you’ve entered the real estate industry, and now own properties across the country. When your financial circumstances go through a major change, so should your estate plan.
- If it’s been too long: If you can’t remember the last time you updated your estate plan, you should probably review it for potential changes. There’s a chance that you’ll find something that requires your attention, so take a closer look. If you want to stay on top of things, set a reminder to review your estate plan annually.
It’s not always high on your priority list, but reviewing and updating your estate plan is something you’ll have to do throughout your life. As you make changes for the better, it will give you peace of mind in knowing that everything is in order.