Life is always changing — and this is never more true than when it comes to your estate plans. When you first created your estate plan, it was reflective of your situation, your assets, the people in your life and the law of the day. If you look back three or five years, you may be surprised how a lot has changed in your life.
It is life’s constant change that occasions the need for reviewing and updating your estate plan. Remember, an estate plan is not some document you complete and store in a safe never to be seen again. Here are two instances when updating your estate plan makes perfect sense:
When there are changes in your relationship
Life can come at you real fast, from the joy of tying the knot to the pain of divorce or losing a spouse. Look back to when you first created your estate plan. Has your marital status changed? Have you had a new addition to the family? Have you lost a loved one?
If you have experienced a significant change in your relationship since you first created your estate plan, then you need to review and update your plan to reflect these changes. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to update your estate plan to add new beneficiaries, remove deceased beneficiaries or elect new guardians and trustees.
When there are changes in your assets
Have you acquired a new home or sold one since you first created your estate plan? Did you inherit anything from your parents? It is important that you review and update your estate plan to reflect changes in your assets. This is because changes in the composition and values of your assets can greatly impact your intended allocations as outlined in the estate plan. Be sure to review and update your estate plan in light of any asset acquisition or disposal.
Nothing is permanent in life. Circumstances change, people come and go and priorities shift. It only makes sense that your estate plan changes to reflect these shifts in your reality. When it comes to your final wishes and protecting your loved ones and assets, it is best to be prepared.