Creating an estate plan is an important step in securing your future and the well-being of your loved ones. But here’s the thing: estate planning is not a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular review and updates. Don’t be shy about reviewing your estate plan—it’s a crucial part of keeping it relevant and effective.
You may have felt confident in the decisions you made when you initially created your estate plan, but life is ever-changing. Circumstances evolve, families grow, and priorities shift. That’s why it’s essential to embrace the idea of making changes to your plan when needed. Remember, these updates are meant to align your estate plan with your current situation and ensure your plan continues to meet your goals.
Here are some key milestones and events that should prompt you to review your estate plan:
- Marriage or divorce: Whether you’re entering into a new marriage or going through a divorce, these life events can significantly impact your estate plan. You’ll want to make sure your plan reflects your new marital status and addresses any changes in beneficiaries or asset distribution.
- Addition of a child: Welcoming a new child into your family is a joyous occasion, but it also means your estate plan needs to be updated to include provisions for their care and financial well-being.
- Death of a loved one: The loss of a spouse or another family member can necessitate revisions to your estate plan. You may need to update beneficiaries, consider changes in asset ownership, or appoint new individuals to key roles such as executor or trustee.
- Disability: If you or a loved one becomes incapacitated, it’s essential to have the necessary legal documents in place to ensure your affairs are handled as you would wish. Review your plan to ensure it includes provisions for incapacity, such as powers of attorney and healthcare directives.
- Major change in financial circumstances: If your financial situation experiences a significant shift, such as a windfall or a substantial loss, it’s wise to reassess your estate plan to ensure it aligns with your new financial goals and objectives.
In addition to these specific events, it’s good practice to review your estate plan yearly. Set aside dedicated time to go through your plan, assess any changes in your life, and ensure that all documents and provisions are up to date. Schedule a formal review with your attorney at least every three years to make sure your plan is current with law changes or best practices.
If you feel uncertain or overwhelmed during this process, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance. Reach out to our law firm at 520.529.4000 to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you navigate the review process, address your concerns, and provide expert advice tailored to your unique circumstances. We want you to feel confident and secure in the estate plan you’ve created, so let us assist you in ensuring its effectiveness for the future.