Creating an estate plan is an ongoing process. Often, you experience a significant event that moves estate planning up your to-do list, like having a baby or investing in real estate.
However, putting together your estate plan is not a one-and-done type of document. While a thorough estate plan can include some life changes, others will require a change in your plan.
These are some of the crucial times you should consider updating your estate plan.
Moving to another state
Each state has its own rules when it comes to an estate plan. Although some states will recognize a will that is valid in another state, others will not.
When you are considering a move, it is a good time to review your estate plan to find out if you need to make changes to match the local laws of your new home.
Adding or subtracting
Over the years, our friends and family change. Sometimes you add people through marriage, birth or a new friendship; sometimes, you lose someone due to death or other unforeseeable circumstances.
When the people you named in your will (or want to name in your will) change, it is time to revise your will. The only way for your estate plan to reflect your wishes is for it to change with your life.
Significant asset changes
Similar to changes in the people who will receive assets from your estate, you should also consider updating your estate plan when your assets change. While minor sales and purchases may not require an adjustment, you may need to reflect it in your estate plan when you buy or sell more significant assets, like a car or house.
You do not need to reflect every life change in your estate plan, but you should review it periodically to ensure it is up to date. Keeping your estate plan updated can make the probate and asset distribution processes easier for your loved ones.