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Is it time to update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Estate Planning

When was the last time you made changes to your estate plan? If you have only ever made your estate plan and never updated it, then it may be due time for your estate plan to be changed. 

Estate planning is a lifelong process, it can help benefit you and the people included in your estate plan when it is frequently updated. Here is how to tell when your estate plan needs updated: 

How long has it been since you made any changes?

It is believed that an estate plan should be updated about every three to five years. This is often how long it takes for people to accumulate enough assets to be included in an estate plan. However, you can choose how often your estate plan should be updated. 

Did you have any major life events?

Another reason to update your estate plan is if you had a major life event. Some life events can include:

  • Getting married or divorced: Marriage is often many people’s biggest achievement. It can be rewarding to include a spouse in your estate plan. Your spouse could be named a primary beneficiary, for example. But, they may also be fit to be a power of attorney or a guardian of a child from another marriage. Many of these decisions may need to be reversed if you divorce.
  • Having a child: As a parent, you may want to help ensure your child is cared for in the future. You could, for instance, create a trust to help fund their future education or interests. You may also need to name a guardian to be there for your child if you become incapacitated.
  • Developing medical conditions: An illness or injury may cause you to make changes to your estate plan. You may need to name a power of attorney to oversee your health and finances on your behalf. 

Knowing when to update your estate plan and what to change is not always clear. You can reach out for legal help to learn about your estate planning options.