When you create an estate plan, you cannot simply leave it as-is for the rest of your life. It needs to stay updated in order to reflect your most recent life circumstances.
But how do you know when it is time to review your plan?
Reviewing after changes in life
Forbes discusses the times when a person may want to consider updating the estate plan. Some of the most obvious situations in which to review include major changes in life.
Three changes primarily count in this category. These changes include beneficiaries, assets and location.
Regarding location, it simply refers to the fact that each state has its own laws regarding estate plans. If you move, you should ensure that your estate plan is legal under the new laws.
Regarding beneficiaries, this includes any loss or gain to people you want to pass assets on to. This can include marriages, deaths, divorce, birth, adoption and more.
Asset changes likewise include loss or gain to assets, such as the selling or purchase of a property. It also includes transferring one asset type to another, like selling a house and keeping the money.
Even when nothing major changes in your life, you should still conduct regular reviews on your estate plan. This allows for you to double-check the plan and ensure that it still suits what you want out of it, or your overall life situation.
Generally speaking, consider reviewing your estate plan once every 3 to 5 years. Of course, you do not need to make changes at every review, but you can make changes as needed.