Many people assume that once they create an estate plan they can leave well enough alone for the time being. While this may be true for some, depending on age and other circumstances, this isn't the case across the board.
There are times when you need to review your estate plan, with the idea that you may need to make some changes that put you and/or your family in a better position.
Here are some situations in which it makes sense to review your current estate plan:
- The person you named as your beneficiary is no longer living
- You need to add new people to your estate plan, maybe due to a marriage or bringing a child into the world
- You are going through a divorce
- New federal or state laws will impact your prior estate planning decisions
- You want to name a new guardian for your child
- Your children reach the legal age of 18
- You acquire a new asset of great value
Along with the above, there is one other thing to remember: It's good practice to review your estate plan once a year, even if nothing major has changed. It may not be something you want to do, but it's a good habit to get into.
As you review your estate plan, don't be shy about making notes regarding things you would like to change in the near future. If you ignore these potential changes with the hope that everything will work out, you could be making one of the biggest mistakes of your life.
An estate plan can give you and your family peace of mind. As long as you're willing to make changes as necessary, you can always feel confident in the plan you have in place.
When you combine regular check-ups with knowledge of the estate planning process and your legal rights, there is nothing stopping you from always knowing that your plan will take care of your loved ones in the future.