Creating an estate plan is a long-lasting labor that can take months or even years to accomplish, depending on the complexities of your assets and other factors. On top of that, you are not done with your estate plan after you create it. You should revisit it often to ensure that it still accurately reflects your goals and wishes.
But when is the right time to take a look at your estate plan? Must you follow certain guiding laws? Do experts have any suggestions on the matter?
Laws about updating and reviewing estate plans
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel looks into some important reasons to update your estate plan. First, they note that no law dictates when or how you should review or update your plan. However, many people working in the legal field suggest that you review it every three to five years. This lets you refresh your memory and check all the parts you may have forgotten over time.
Reviewing during periods of change
That aside, there are several instances in which you should review your estate plan as soon as possible. First: changes to your beneficiaries. This can include the death or estrangement of a family member, the loss or divorce of a spouse, the adoption or birth of children and more. You always want your plan to accurately reflect who will get the benefits of your estate.
Next, update when you see significant financial changes. This includes heavy losses, bankruptcy, debt, or financial gain such as coming into an inheritance. It also includes the transfer of assets, such as selling a property for cash.
Your estate plan should always reflect your life at its most current time. Thus, any large change serves as a good catalyst for review.