There are many times when people are told to update their estate plans. However, many of the timelines you see are simply suggestions.

There are no specific guidelines that tell you when you have to update your estate plan. It’s a good idea to review it annually or every other year if nothing in your life has changed, just so that you can recall what it includes, but there is no specific date when that needs to happen.

On the other hand, there are some triggering events that suggest that it is time to look into updating your estate plan.

What are some major life events that should trigger a review of your estate plan?

There are many major life events that should remind you to review your estate plan. Some of the most common include:

  • Getting a divorce
  • Getting married
  • Having a new child
  • Adopting a child
  • Opening a business
  • Closing a business
  • Developing a serious health condition
  • Moving
  • Losing a loved one

These and other major changes in your life should remind you that your estate plan may need to be updated. For example, if you had a sibling listed as your beneficiary, you’d want to remove them if they passed away. You could change the beneficiary designation to a niece or nephew, parent, your own child, or even a nonprofit or other organization instead at that time.

When there are no major changes, when do you need to review your estate plan?

Everyone’s estate plan is different, just like each person’s life and lifestyle is different. Your attorney can reach out to you to remind you to review your estate plan on a schedule that you both agree to. They may also reach out to you if there are any major changes in the laws of the state that could impact your estate plan.

You have a right to review your estate plan at any time and make changes when you feel they’re appropriate. Whether you choose to make this an annual review or one that you only do every few years is up to you and your attorney.