Life is constantly changing. The plans you made several years ago may need to be changed to reflect your current situation. The same can be said for estate planning. The will you wrote in 2015 should definitely be reviewed and updated as your circumstances change throughout your lifetime.
As tax laws and estate planning rules change it’s a good idea to review your plans.
When should you update your estate plan?
Your estate plan should be updated every five years, or as you experience big life changes such as:
- Marriage: When you get married you should name your spouse as your executor, beneficiary and trustee when applicable. You may also want to put them in charge of your healthcare directives. In the event that you are ill and unable to speak for yourself, your spouse can relay your wishes to the doctor and hospital staff.
- Moving to another state: You need to update your plans to reflect that state’s laws regarding estate planning.
- The birth of your first child: You need to update your plans by naming a guardian for the child. Should something happen to you the child’s guardian would be responsible for raising them in your absence. You may also want to name your child as a beneficiary of your estate.
- The diagnosis of a serious illness: Your plans need to be reviewed and updated to reflect your current situation. In the event that your illness is terminal, you want to make sure that your estate plan and your healthcare directives are clear.
- Your assets change: In the years since you first created your estate plan, you’ve probably added to your assets. You need to consider who you want to inherit those assets down the road.
When it is time to update your estate plan seek guidance to ensure that your plan reflects the current laws in your state.