Your estate plan has a lot of value if it contains enough details to guide your surviving family members through your final wishes. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to forget to keep it updated throughout the years.
Even though it may seem unnecessary, updating your plan can prevent a lot of heartache and misunderstanding.
Clarify what you want
As you approach the end of your life, you may have specific desires for the type of emergency medical treatment you want. You may have instructions for how you want your money handled if you suffer incapacitation. Still, you may have important funeral requests. Along with your requests for distributions to your beneficiaries, this is a lot of information for people to retain.
Your estate plan is your chance to clarify your intentions. To speak clearly and specifically about your final wishes. Taking advantage of this opportunity can give your surviving family members guidance as they close your estate. The bit of work you put in now to provide details may effectively minimize the risks of discord later on.
Keep control of your assets
Another reason to periodically update your estate is to maintain control of your assets and their fate after you pass away. According to U.S. News, it is wise to review your plan on a five to seven-year basis. This allows you to identify where modifications may improve the performance of your plan. However, if you experience significant changes in your life, you should update your plan immediately. For example, if your spouse passes away, you may wish to update your beneficiary designations to other members of your family.
Your estate plan is only of value when it accurately reflects your final wishes. A periodic update can help you achieve this goal.