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When should you update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2024 | Estate Planning

If you are unsure when to update your estate plan, or if you’ve never updated it at all, one option is to use an annual or biannual system. Every year or two, you just review the existing estate plan. You consider any changes in your life and decide if an update is necessary. By scheduling this in advance, you ensure that you won’t forget to do it. 

However, this tactic does have some problems. Say that a new grandchild is born but you’re not planning to update your estate plan for two years. There’s a risk that you could pass away without updating it, leaving that grandchild out.

A focus on life events

To avoid this problem, you may want to look at important life events and make updates when necessary. The birth of a grandchild is one example, but other life events include:

  • The birth of a biological child 
  • Being involved in a marriage or a divorce 
  • Selling or receiving a major asset, like a business or real estate 
  • Buying a life insurance policy 
  • Getting a serious or potentially terminal medical diagnosis 
  • Suffering significant injuries in a car accident 
  • Deciding to disinherit one of your beneficiaries 
  • The death of someone who was already named as a beneficiary 
  • The marriage or divorce of any close family members 
  • Changes to the estate planning laws, especially if they affect financial decisions or have tax implications

Essentially, you just want to be wary that certain things can happen that necessitate a more immediate update to your estate plan. When you see these events, then it’s important to consider all of your legal options to ensure that your plan is up-to-date.