Estate plans are somewhat like a snapshot in time. While they do look to the future, they are created based on your current circumstances and existing law. A working professional is likely to keep his or her resume updated regularly, to reflect their experience, skill set, and education. An outdated resume would not accurately reflect someone’s professional abilities and would not perform as intended. Estate plans are similar in that they need to be regularly updated to reflect changes both in your life and in the law so that they can do what you want them to do. Outdated estate plans, like outdated resumes, simply do not work.
Think for a moment about all the changes in your life so far. What has changed since you signed your will, trust, and other estate planning documents? If something has changed that affects you, your trusted helpers, or your beneficiaries, your estate plan probably needs to reflect that change.
Here are some examples of changes that are significant enough to warrant an estate plan review and likely updates:
- A new family member that you want to provide for in your estate plan (child, grandchild, etc.) was born.
- A new family member that you want to provide for was adopted.
- You, a trusted decision maker, or a beneficiary got married.
- You or a beneficiary got divorced or separated from a spouse.
- A loved one passed away.
- A loved one is now battling an addiction.
- One of your trusted decision makers is now incapacitated.
- A loved one is now disabled.
- You or a loved one is now suffering some health challenges.
- Your financial status or that of a beneficiary has changed, either for better or worse.
- Laws pertaining to tax, retirement accounts or benefits, property, or other relevant topics have changed.
- You, a trusted decision maker, or a beneficiary moved to a new state.
- Your family circumstances have changed.
- Your business circumstances have changed.
Estate planning is not often a priority for most people, but rather something that is put off or avoided. And after it has finally been completed, it is easy to not think about it again. But estate planning is a necessary and ongoing project that requires review and attention.
There is no time like the present to review your estate plan. Call our office now to get your estate planning review scheduled. Just as you update your resume and meet with your doctor, dentist, CPA, or financial advisor regularly, you should meet with us regularly as well. We will ensure that your estate plan reflects your current needs and the needs of the people you love. Updating is the best way to ensure that your estate plan will continue to do exactly what you want it to do.