You may already have a basic estate plan, and that’s great. It helps protect you and the people you care about if you’re injured or pass away.
That estate plan should be thought of as a living entity, though. Your life is always changing, and your wishes may change, too. As a result, it’s necessary to go back and look at your estate plan every so often to be sure that it’s still protecting you and your loved ones in the way that you want.
Reviewing your estate plan
There are some people who will tell you to review your plan annually or every few years. Others will suggest reviewing your estate plan only after major events.
The truth is that you should review your estate plan any time you:
- Have a major change in your life, such as the development of an illness or the birth of a new child in your family
- Are told there have been changes to the laws that may impact your estate plan
- Have a major change in your earnings
- Lose a loved one who was once a beneficiary
- Have a falling out with a friend or family member who was established as a power of attorney or beneficiary in your estate plan
These and other reasons are good reasons to look at your estate plan and, at the very least, to review the decisions you made previously.
You don’t necessarily need to review your estate plan with your attorney annually or every other year, but you should make sure to involve them if you have major changes in your estate plan and would like to change your estate plan. Since the laws around estate planning are always changing, it’s a good idea to go over the plan with an attorney if it has been a few years, too. That way, you’ll know that you have updated it to match the current regulations.
Finally, if you move, remember that all of the laws that impact your estate plan could change. In that case, you will need to have it reviewed and updated for the new state in which you live.