There is no better time to attend to your estate plan than now, as this will give you and your family the peace of mind you've been searching for.
However, don't assume that the creation of an estate plan means that you no longer have to think about it in the future. There will be times when you need to review and update your estate plan, all with the idea of keeping it in line with your current situation and future goals.
Here are some of the better times to update your estate plan:
- After several years have gone by. If you can't remember the last time you reviewed your estate plan, take the time to conduct a thorough review. You may find that the passage of time is reason enough make some changes.
- Someone you named in your estate plan is no longer living. For example, if your spouse was your only beneficiary and he or she passed away, you need to make immediate changes to your estate plan.
- You have added new people to your family. This could happen as the result of birth or adoption. Either way, you probably need to update your estate plan accordingly.
- Marriage or divorce. A marriage or divorce is a big step in your personal and financial lives. It is also a step that will have you rethinking your estate plan and considering the changes you need to make.
- New state or federal laws. As the years go by, you can be rest assured that state or federal estate planning laws will probably change (sometimes not in your favor). When this happens, you need to review your estate plan to see if it could benefit from some adjusting.
- Change in personal representative, trustee or guardian. The person you named in the past may no longer make sense right now. You shouldn't hesitate to make an immediate change if necessary.
If you have any reason to believe you should update your estate plan you'll want to conduct a review and decide what to do next. Once you know what makes the most sense, you can move forward with confidence.