Estate planning is a vital task that helps you make sure your assets go where you want them to after your passing. But creating an estate plan is not a one-time task; it is something you need to revisit and update occasionally.
As your life changes, so do your financial needs, family dynamics and personal desires. All these factors might lead to changes in how you want to manage your assets, and keeping your estate plan current is just as important as having one.
Changes in your family
Family dynamics can change, and these changes often require an update to your estate plan. Marriages, divorces, births and deaths within your family might lead you to change your plan. If a new family member arrives or relationships shift, you will want to make sure that your estate plan reflects these changes.
Your financial situation can change too, prompting a review of your estate plan. Changes in your income, significant assets’ sale or purchase and even large changes in the value of your investments might affect how you want to distribute your assets. You must adjust your estate plan to accurately reflect your current financial landscape.
Moving to a different state
Different states have different laws governing estates. If you move to a new state, you need to review your estate plan to make sure it aligns with your new state’s regulations. Doing so helps you avoid potential complications and ensures that your loved ones carry out your wishes as you intend.
Changes in tax laws
Changes in tax laws can significantly impact your estate. If tax laws change, you may need to adjust your estate plan to preserve your estate’s value for your beneficiaries. By staying current with these changes and adjusting your estate plan accordingly, you can protect your estate’s value.
Even if none of the above situations apply to you, you should review your estate plan regularly. A good rule of thumb is to check your plan every three to five years. A regular review ensures that your plan aligns with your wishes and that you have not missed any changes that might affect your estate.
Life changes and your estate plan should change with it. By regularly updating your plan, you ensure that you manage and distribute your assets exactly as you intend. Your estate plan is a living document, and keeping it current is an essential part of caring for your legacy and the people you love.