A significant error people make after creating their estate plan is not to touch it until it is dire or after a major life-changing event. In the end, life-changing events can happen more often than not, and it can be crucial to keep the status of your estate plan in the back of your mind.
While you may not need to update it every time you check on it, it can be good to reread and reassess the plan. Motivations, relationships, and money can change faster than we realize, and things written five years ago may not be present now. Other than large life-changing events, checking and updating your estate plan every three to five years can be a good average.
Between those three to five years, other events can warrant an update on your estate plan.
Move to Another State
Estate laws are not national. Each state has its own rules and regulations to follow when it comes to estate planning, and if you move to a new state, having your plan assessed can ensure your wishes are translated correctly in the new state. Such examples can include some states having inheritance or estate taxes while others do not, or even as trivial as the amount of people who were there to witness the signing of the will.
Getting married can bring a whole list of new stipulations to tend to when it comes to estate planning. You may want to start by naming them as a beneficiary. Your spouse can also be named your financial agent and medical agent in a circumstance where you can not speak for yourself. Updating your estate planning after getting married can help avoid any conflict or future lawsuits down the road.
Change In Financial Status
A major increase or decrease in financial status can warrant an update to your estate plan. If there is a change, you may have to reevaluate how much you give each beneficiary and choose to change the distribution or raise the amount for each. If you have sold your property or another large asset, it can be time to look over your estate plan as well.
Sudden health changes can be a good reason to review your estate plan and make sure that your plan reflects what you want for your beneficiaries. An estate planning attorney could be wise to hire to ensure that all asset titles and beneficiary designations are appropriately written. They can help stop any possible contestants or arguments about the will and plan.
Whether it is your first or fifth child, going over your estate plan each time can ensure you are adding the right people and changing any income fluctuations as well. The sooner you add children onto the plan, the safer it is to say you’ve thought out plans for possible guardians if you pass or what they might earn at 18, 25, or even 30 from your assets. Pre-planning can save you from confusion and arguments in the future.
Your estate plan is vital to ensure your wishes are in place and the people you care about get the proper assets and property. By updating it at least every three to five years or whenever a significant life event happens, you can be positive that everything is reflective of the current life you live. If you have any questions on estate planning, contact us at Hartmann Law Office.