How Often Do I Need to Update My Estate Plan?
Got an estate plan? Great! Now learn how to keep it updated.
Estate planning is not something everyone wants to think about or discuss with others. Death is a taboo topic for many people, so they may not have a will or trust in place. However, managing your assets to pass them on after your death is always a good idea. Those who do have an estate plan in place are off to a good start.
However, an estate plan is not a one-and-done deal. It is not something you should simply set aside. In fact, you should revisit it every so often as life changes occur. That way, you are not leaving anyone out or forgetting any important assets.
When Should I Update My Estate Plan?
It is a good idea to review your estate plan on a regular basis. Some people do it annually. However, the general timeline is roughly every three to five years. You will want to update it sooner if there is a life event.
The following are considered life events:
- Birth or adoption of a child or grandchild
- College funding for a child or grandchild
- Changes to the guardianship of a minor child
- Disability of a spouse
- Death of a beneficiary, executor, or trustee
- Addition of a home or other significant asset
- Changes in the value of investments
- Receipt of an inheritance
- Move to another state
- Major career change
- Start or close of a business
When creating or updating an estate plan, there are a couple of things to consider. If you move to another state, your estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney to ensure that it complies with the relevant laws, since they vary from state to state. Even if you have not moved to a new state, the tax laws are always changing, so check with your estate planning attorney to ensure your estate plan is compliant.
Also, if you are marrying someone who already has children, the stepchildren are not typically included as beneficiaries of an estate plan. Therefore, if you want to include them, the estate plan will need to mention them specifically.
There may be situations where you want to disinherit a child or spouse for some reason. Since children and spouses are typically included in estate plans, you will need to ensure your estate plan specifically states that you do not want your child or spouse to inherit anything. This should be done with the assistance of your estate planning attorney to ensure you do not violate any laws.
Updates should be made to ensure beneficiaries receive assets as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions or are unsure if something is considered a life change, ask your attorney.
Contact a Pearland Estate Planning Attorney
While having an estate plan is a great way to ensure beneficiaries receive certain assets upon your death, you need to ensure your plan is updated regularly.
John Powell III, P.C. can ensure your estate planning is done right. We will help you make the best decisions based on your situation. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form.