One way to address changes to an estate plan is simply to set up a schedule to make these updates and alterations. You certainly don’t want to just ignore your plan, which is a mistake that some people make. You could update it every 3 to 5 years to make sure it’s relatively current.
However, doing this does create some level of risk. What if there’s a major change but you’re not planning to make your update for a few years? If you pass away within that window, your estate plan may not accurately address your wishes or what your family needs. As such, it may be wise to look for specific life events that signify that it’s time for an update.
Marriage and divorce
One example of this is if you get married or divorced. Any time that your affections change or your family relationships change, your estate plan needs to be altered to reflect those changes. You certainly don’t want to pass away with your ex still listed in your estate plan.
Birth and death
It’s also helpful just to think about the people that you’re leaving your assets oo. Maybe a new grandchild was just born. Maybe an heir tragically passed away too early. You’ll want to adjust your plan and how you distribute your assets.
Major financial changes
Finally, from a financial perspective, estate planning gives you a way to divide your assets between your heirs. But if there are major changes, like buying a new home or selling a business, your finances are going to look much different. You simply need to adjust the plan to allocate the assets properly.
The steps to take
If you don’t have an estate plan, it’s definitely important to understand all of your legal options. Even if you do, it’s wise to consider the steps you can take to ensure that it is always current.