Once you create an estate plan, it’s easy to assume that you never again have to think about it. While it’s not required that you review your estate plan in the future, you should get into the habit of doing so. You may discover a detail that needs your immediate attention.
Keep an eye out for these events
Events can unfold during your life that should prompt an estate plan review. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The person you named as your beneficiary is no longer living
- You need to add new people to your will, e.g., after giving birth to a child
- Marriage or divorce
- New federal or state laws are enacted that could have an impact on the provisions in your current estate plan
- You need to add or change personal representatives or guardians for children under the age of 18
- You acquire new assets or receive a bequest or an inheritance
- There is a substantial decrease or increase in the value of your estate
If you don’t run into any of these issues, you may assume that you can leave your estate plan alone for the time being. However, that can also be problematic.
The passage of time is reason enough to review your estate plan with the idea of making some changes. For example, the decisions you made when you were 40 years old may not make sense for you now that you are in your 60s and closing in on retirement age.
If you get into the habit of reviewing your estate plan once every year or two, you will not have to worry about missing out on a necessary and essential change.
It’s good that you took the time to create an estate plan, but don’t let all this go to waste by waiting too long to review it for potential changes.
If you discover that your current estate plan is no longer right for you and your loved ones, make a list of proposed adjustments and learn remain proactive about staying on top of changes that can affect the provisions you have made for your beneficiaries.