So much of the estate planning focus is on the initial process and completing the paperwork for the first time. Unfortunately, this creates a false sense of security once you finish the plan. Whether you are new to estate planning or you finished your documents some time ago, it is important to understand the ongoing reviews.
Why should you review your estate plan?
Reviewing your estate plan after its completion is important because things change. Whether you get married or divorced, have a new grandchild or even sell your vacation home, your estate plan needs to reflect those changes. Periodic estate plan reviews make it easier to keep up and give you peace of mind.
How often should you review your estate plan?
In most cases, reviewing your estate plan once a year is sufficient. If you and your family have recently been through some major changes, lost a loved one or relocated, you may want to review your documents and make adjustments right away.
What should you update when you review your estate plan?
You should consider any changes in assets and update those asset distributions or trust designations. Make sure your executor and beneficiaries are still accurate and review the rest of the documents for general reasonability, including your emergency contacts and medical care directives.
Estate plans should evolve and adapt as your life changes and progresses. Outdated documents make it harder for your loved ones to settle the estate, so consider these points and review your estate plan regularly.