A good estate plan includes a variety of different components such as a will, trust, advance healthcare directive and durable power of attorney. An important part of the process, however, is knowing when to update an estate plan. Unfortunately, many people are tend to forget this, which results in consequences later on.
There are several times in the estate planner’s life that they should ensure their estate plan is up-to-date. One of the most important is if the estate planner has a major relationship change in their life. Major relationship changes can include if they are married, divorce, welcome a new child or suffer a death. In addition, if the estate planner experiences a major move, such as to another state, they should ensure their estate plan is updated to align with the laws in the new state where they are residing.
Other changes that may mean it is a good time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner’s designations for executor or trustee become outdated. Along those same lines, estate planners need to ensure the beneficiary designations on their life insurance policies and retirement accounts are also kept current. Lastly, if the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, it is important for them to update their estate plan in keeping with those changes.
Estate planning provides important ongoing protections for estate planners which is why estate planners should be regularly updated to reflect changes in the estate planner’s life. By keeping an estate plan up-to-date, estate planners can rest easy that their estate plan expresses their wishes for when they are gone.