After an estate planner has established their estate plan, they should begin thinking ahead to when they may need to update their estate plan. It is equally important to know when to update an estate plan as it is to know what to include in an estate plan such as a will, trust and plan for if the estate planner becomes incapacitated at some point.
When to update an estate plan
There are several pivotal times during an estate planner’s life when they should consider updating their estate plan including:
- If the beneficiaries in the will change if they are deceased for example;
- There are new beneficiaries that should be named in the will such as through birth or adoption;
- The estate planner got divorced or married;
- The state laws associated with estate planning have changed or the estate planner moved to a new state that may have different laws associated with wills as an example;
- There needs to be a change to the personal representative, executor, guardian or trustee designation;
- The estate planner’s children have reached the age of 18;
- There has been a substantial increase or decrease in the value of the estate planner’s estate; and
- The estate planner has acquired or disposed of a significant asset;
In addition, it is a good idea to review the estate plan periodically and when certain age thresholds are met. Estate planning is important to get going but also important to maintain which is why it is a good idea for estate planners to know when to update their estate plan.