Creating an estate plan is a big step in your life, as it forces you to look toward the future.
While you hope that the basics of your estate plan can remain in place for the foreseeable future, there are times when you’ll need to make changes.
Here are some of the many reasons to consider updating your estate plan:
- Divorce or marriage. Both of these are major life events that could call for a change to your estate plan. For instance, if you go through divorce, you may no longer want to have your ex-spouse as the beneficiary of your assets.
- A new child. If you need to name a new person in your will or trust, you should immediately review your estate plan. This often comes into play when a person brings a new child into the world (or adopts).
- The death of a beneficiary. If a beneficiary passes on before you, it’s important that you remove his or her name from your estate plan.
- New state laws. This is something that many people overlook, but it’s essential to creating a sound estate plan. When estate planning laws change, you need to review your situation to see if there will be any impact.
- Your children reach the age of 18. When this happens, you no longer have to concern yourself with a guardian. They are now old enough to care for themselves.
- An increase in the value of your estate. You hope that this happens, as it means that you have come into some type of money. An increase could be the result of anything from an inheritance to lottery winnings.
Along with all the above, you should review your estate plan as you age. Make it a habit to do so every year, as this will help ensure that you feel good about where things stand.
If you have any reason to update your estate plan, don’t hesitate to do so. It can take some time to make the right adjustments, but you will be glad that you did.