Life is constantly changing and your estate plan should be updated to reflect those changes. Estate plans should be regularly reviewed every three to five years because the plans that you created five years ago may not truly reflect your current circumstances.
Also, when tax laws and estate planning rules change it’s a good idea to review and adjust your estate plans.
5 times to update your estate plans
Big life events are a cause for celebration and a reason to update your estate plan. Some of these events include:
- When you get married. As you and your spouse join your lives together you are also combining your assets. This is a great time to set up your estate plan together. You can name your spouse as your personal representative when applicable. You may also want to put them in charge of your healthcare directives.
- When your first child is born. This is when you need to name a guardian for your child. This is also the time to name your child as a beneficiary of your estate.
- When you’re diagnosed with a serious illness. As much as you don’t want to think about it, if your illness is terminal you need to make sure that your estate plan and your healthcare directives are clear.
- When your assets change. Anytime you purchase or acquire a valuable car, work of art or heirloom jewelry, you need to think about who you want to inherit those assets down the road.
- When you’re moving to another state. Each state has its own laws with regard to estate planning. If you move, you should update your plans to reflect that state’s laws.
Updating your estate plans from time to time is important. Taking the time to review your plans now can make things a little easier for your family down the road.