Your estate plan consists of a large part of end-of-life planning. But you are not done with it after you finish writing it. In fact, you should frequently revisit your estate plan to ensure that it still matches your current life situations and desires.
But when should you review your plan? And are there any areas you should look into specifically?
Examine these elements first
Forbes examines different parts of your estate plan that you should prioritize examining. If possible, you should give the entire plan a thorough check every so often. But barring that, you first want to examine:
- Your will
- Your trust
- Your beneficiaries
- Your healthcare proxy and power of attorney
- Your potential tax opportunities
Your trust and will hold crucial information. Review and confirm your executor. Name guardians for any minor children. Name back-ups for both parties, just in case. Identify all beneficiaries clearly. Identify who will receive assets from your trust and how that will happen. Consider holding assets in the trust for minors until they reach legal adulthood.
Focus on your beneficiaries
In terms of beneficiaries, healthcare proxy and power of attorney, you must evaluate your relations with others. Beneficiaries may change depending on whether or not those relationships are still intact. For example, you likely do not want an ex-spouse on your will. A healthcare proxy and power of attorney hold significant power, too. You want to ensure that both have your best interest in mind and would make the same decisions you would in your shoes.
Experts suggest reviewing your estate plan every 3 years if nothing big changes in your life. Otherwise, consider reviewing it any time you face substantial change in finances, family or living location.