It is important to periodically review an estate plan. You’re not always going to have to make updates to that plan. But you want to take a look at the plan and compare it to your current life situation to see if it still fits. In some cases, you’ll realize that updates are needed so that the plan will work as intended if you were to pass away.
One way to do this is by setting up an annual review or a bi-annual review. Having a set schedule makes it harder to forget. You can get in the habit of reviewing the plan and seeing if anything major in your life has changed. But what types of changes should you be looking for?
Changes to heirs
For one thing, there may be changes regarding who you want to leave your assets to. Maybe an heir or beneficiary passed away, or maybe another heir was born. Parents may have more children, while grandparents may enjoy the birth of more grandchildren. Either way, adding and subtracting beneficiaries is sometimes necessary.
Changes in assets
You also want to consider if there have been substantial changes to your assets. Examples could be inheriting a significant amount of money from your own parents, selling a family home, selling a business, winning a court case and much more.
Changes in goals
Finally, you may just decide that you want to do something else with your estate plan. Maybe you’d like to add in charities that will receive some of your assets. Maybe the estate planning laws have changed and you think there are ways you can alter your plan that will be beneficial, perhaps from a tax perspective.
These are just a few examples, but they help you understand what types of changes you should be looking for. It is at this point that you need to consider a review and all of your legal options for updating your estate plan.