Reviewing an updating an estate plan is an important part of the estate planning process because an estate plan should not remain stagnant as the estate planner’s life changes. To be able to review and update an estate plan, the estate planner needs to know when they should take a second look.
The estate planner gets married, remarries or gets divorced
If the estate planner gets married, they should review their estate plan to update their will to include their new spouse. If the estate planner remarries, they should review their estate plan to make sure it accounts for their new spouse and any children from a prior marriage they wish to include. If the estate planner gets divorced, they need to review their estate plan to remove their former spouse.
The estate planner becomes a parent
If the estate planner becomes a parent, they will want to make sure they update their estate plan to account for the care of their child, including appointing a guardian for the child.
The estate planner approaches middle age
If the estate planner’s assets approach a threshold that could be subject to federal estate taxes, it is a good time to review their estate plan with that in mind.
The estate planner’s spouse dies
If the estate planner’s spouse dies, they should update their will and review their estate plan for any other changes, such as powers of attorney or their living will, that need to be made based on the loss they have suffered.
The estate planner retires to another state
If the estate planner moves to another state, they should review their entire estate plan to ensure their will and other documents comply with any differences in state law in their new state.
Estate planning is an important tool for planning for the future but any good estate plan should also be regularly reviewed. Knowing when to revisit an estate plan can help it be an effective tool for the estate planner.