There are key times in every estate planner’s life when it can be crucial to update their estate plan. It is a good idea to regularly review an estate plan, and to update it after key events in one’s life.
When the estate planner moves
If the estate planner makes a major move to another state, they may encounter different laws related to estate planning in their new state. They should ensure their estate plan, such as the witness and signature requirements for their will, are met in their new state and they are in compliance with the new state’s rules.
When the estate planner marries or divorces
If the estate planner marries or divorces, it is likely they may want to make additions or removals from their estate plan to include the new family member or remove the departed family member. Whenever an estate planner has a major relationship change, they should account for it in their updated estate plan.
When the estate planner wants to change an executor
If the estate planner’s executor designation, or other designation such as a trustee or guardian, becomes inappropriate, they may want to change it. Estate planners should also ensure all designations on insurance policies and retirement plans are kept current.
When the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change
If the estate planner experiences a shift in their assets or liabilities, their estate plan should be adjusted to reflect that reality as one of the primary purposes of an estate plan is to manage the estate planner’s assets and liabilities at the end of their life.
Changes in tax laws may also cause the estate planner to want to revisit their estate plan.
It is important to know when it is a good time to review and update an estate plan. Estate planning resources can help guide estate planners through the process of setting up an estate plan and effectively maintaining their estate plan.