The need to continually update estate plans

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Estate Planning |

An estate plan is not the final say but a living document that requires revisiting based on certain circumstances. Some experts believe that revisiting the paperwork should occur every three years or as certain circumstances require.

Remembering to revise documents

While having an outdated estate plan is better than having none at all, keeping it recent and relevant is paramount. Other factors may necessitate a second, third, or fourth look. Changes in state tax law or laws that govern estate planning include powers of attorney or advance medical directives.

Additional reasons for revisions include the following:

  • Moving to another state – National estate planning laws do not exist. Every state has its regulations and should be reviewed to ensure your estate plan fits within those parameters. Most don’t have inheritance or estate taxes. Simply put, updating is paramount before or following a move.
  • New additions to your family – Children, grandchildren, new in-laws, and others should be named and included in the estate plan. Loved ones are spared possible conflicts and lawsuits of longtime loved ones who may dispute their inclusion.
  • Removing a former loved one – Unfortunately, familial relationships change, often not for the better. While some loved ones pass away or divorce, keeping things current in inheritances is essential to potentially sidestep future drama among family members and those who are estranged.
  • A change in assets and liabilities – Financial statuses can change instantly, significantly increasing or reducing the value of your estate. Paying attention to the ebbs and flows of finances is important, particularly when it comes to revisions that reflect a new normal.

Regarding estate plans, the “to-do list” is lengthy. While tempting to put things off, addressing significant changes that provide peace of mind for all family members.