When Is It Time For An Estate Plan Update?
Clients often ask me, Peter When Is It Time For An Estate Plan Update? How often should I update my estate plan? or When should I update my estate plan? While this might seem like a tricky question, the answer is really quite simple. There are 10 basic events that I think are a good signal that it is time for an estate plan update?
It’s Time To Update Your Estate Plan If: A marriage, divorce or remarriage or any significant change to your relationship with a beneficiary of your estate. While we all know the example of the old aunt who constantly changes her will to take her nephew in and out of her estate, it is critical in cases of marriage, divorce or remarriage to make sure that your estate plan benefits the person you want.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: A births or death in the family. A birth or death in the family is an important occasion and it is critical to make sure that new additions to the family are provided for in your estate plan. In addition it is important to make sure that in the event of a loved one passing to make sure to update your estate plan to reflect their passing so as to avoid a defective bequest.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: Buying or selling a valuable asset. For most indiviudals this meanst the purchase or sale of a primary or secondary residence. This can however also mean, buying or selling a business, an interest in a partnership or some other appreciating asset.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: A change in Federal or State laws. Changing laws might affect a will or trust.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: A change in Guardians, Personal Representatives, or Trustees. Are all the players still alive and able to serve? Just like a playbill, it is important to make sure the cast of characters for your estate plan is up to date. You should verify the cast of characters for your estate plan every 3 to 5 years.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: A child that has reached the age of 18. Ah they grow up so fast. When a child turns 18 they are legally an adult. While you will forever look at them as your child the law looks at them a little different following their 18th birthday. As a result it is important to make sure that you review your estate plans distribution scheme to verify that it accounts for your childs adulthood.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: A desire to add, remove, or change beneficiaries. Is there a need to reallocate a beneficiaries interest or share in the estate. As the years pass your relationship with your beneficiaries may change, your assets may changes as may the needs or resources of your beneficiaries. You should consider reviewing this portion of your estate plan every 3 to 5 years to make sure your intended beneficiaries and the amounts they are slated to receive are current.
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: Moving to another state or purchase property in another state. This is pretty self explanatory 😉
- It’s Time For An Estate Plan Update If: A child that has special needs or addiction problems. Special needs children are topic of concern for many parent. Whether it is a child with special needs of an intended beneficiary with and addiction problem it is critically important to make sure that your estate plan is up to date to provide for their long term care.
- And as a catch all, I recommend that each of our clients have a complete estate plan review conducted every 3 to 5 years to make sure there are no gaps in their estate plans.