Estate planning is not a “set it and forget it” item. While creating a will and never giving it a second thought is likely better than not having one at all, it is important to revisit your estate plan as your life circumstances, relationships, financial status, and goals change.
How often should you revisit your estate plan?
There is no set time frame for revisiting your estate plan. Instead, you should revisit it when a change in circumstances or goals warrants it. For example, perhaps your estate plan was created when you were single and did not own a home and now you are married with children and a house. It is important to make sure your estate plan protects your property and reflects your wish to leave something for your heirs.
If you were married when you created your estate plan and have since divorced, it is important to make sure you update your plan. Failure to do so could result in your assets being given to your ex when you die. Likewise, getting remarried is another important time to revisit your estate plan.
Other times a review is likely in order include:
- Your property or investments have dramatically increased in value
- You have become a caregiver for your parents
- You have added a child with special needs to your family
- You have recently started or sold a business
- You have a desire to leave significant assets to a charitable cause
- You are no longer confident in your chosen trustee or power of attorney
- You have been diagnosed with an illness and lack a healthcare power of attorney
When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to take a peek at your estate planning documents and make sure they still accurately reflect your estate planning goals.