Estate planning can include many different components, including planning for incapacity as well as a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of probate assets and maximizing the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. To make sure your estate plan fulfills all of your goals, it is recommended you review your estate planning documents every few years to make sure everything is up-to-date. Below are a few life events that may require you to update your documents.
If you moved
Have you recently moved? This is a good time to review your estate planning documents, especially if you moved to another state. Each state has different laws when it comes to estate planning, making it important to verify that your documents are in conformity with the laws of the state where you reside.
If you married, divorced, or had children
If you were married, divorced, or had children, you should review your estate planning documents. You should confirm that the appropriate individuals are making decisions on your behalf and your assets will pass to the correct beneficiaries. Updating your documents may be necessary to prevent a former spouse from having control or receiving assets and ensures that your chosen beneficiaries receive their share of your estate.
If you realize your executor is no longer capable of the task
Your executor is the individual who will be making sure the directions in your will are fulfilled. This individual needs to be capable of completing the task and should be an individual you trust completely to administer your estate. Should you feel the individual you originally selected is no longer best suited to handle your affairs, it is in your best interest to make a change.
Many changes in your life can affect your Estate Plan, therefore you should conduct a review on a regular basis. It is best to have your estate planning documents reviewed at least every 3-5 years. If it has been a while since your documents were reviewed and updated, contact us for assistance.