For many of us, designing an estate plan seems like something you’d rather do only once and be done with forever. However, it’s critical to review your estate plan every few years or after major life changes. When starting a new plan, I always tell my clients to think of it as a five-year plan. And there are a few clear signs that it’s time to re-evaluate your estate plan:
1. Your Family Has Grown
The birth or adoption of a child changes everything, literally. Including your estate plan. It’s so important to include them in your Will by naming a guardian for your minor children. Or if you have grandchildren, perhaps you’d like to include them in your estate plan in some way.
2. The death or illness of a family member or fiduciary.
If someone you love has passed away and this person is named in your estate plan documents, you should evaluate the impact of his/her death on your plan and other beneficiaries. Similarly, if this is a person you had appointed as a fiduciary, such as a Principal under your Living Will & Patient Advocate Designation, you would need to ensure you have a back-up Principal to serve.
3. Marriage or Divorce.
When your legal relationship status changes one way or the other, your estate plan documents will need to be updated to reflect this.
4. Your Assets Have Changed in Value
Whenever the state of your assets shifts significantly, it’s important to revisit your estate plan. If you won the lottery, inherited assets, sold property, or acquired new wealth in some other way, you will need to ensure that your estate plan accounts for your new assets.
So how do I review my Estate Plan?
I will take the time to get to know you and your family during a free initial consultation and design a personalized estate plan. Given the virtual nature of my practice, I will ask for PDF copies of your current estate plan documents before we meet.
Contact me with any questions!