When should you revisit your estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Divorce |

Ultimately, nothing lasts forever. Everything from your assets to your relationships can change dramatically in a year and even more so as time goes on. Reviewing and revising your estate plan often can help ensure it conveys your current wishes and values.

Generally, it is best to update an estate plan after three to five years or after a major life update. Here are a few life milestones that may necessitate a reevaluation and revision of your estate plan.

Going through marriage or divorce

If you are newlywed, you will likely want to include your spouse in your estate. Otherwise, they may not receive anything when you pass on. If you are divorcing, you can remove or explicitly omit an ex-spouse from your estate plan.

Your will, life insurance policies, guardianship designations, power of attorney and trust are just some of the documents you should look over with your estate attorney after a divorce or marriage.

Experiencing relationship changes

Many relationships can change over time. The arrival of a new child or grandchild, for example, is an important milestone that may push you to revisit your estate plan. On the other hand, you might want to remove or change the provisions of your will if you become estranged from your heir.

Relocating to another state

Laws on estate plans may vary from state to state. Although the basic premise is the same everywhere, there may be key differences that could significantly impact your estate plan.

For example, in Florida, an executor must be a resident or someone related to you. In contrast, other states do not limit the role to relatives and allow out-of-state executors. Additionally, some states, unlike Florida, may charge an estate or inheritance tax.

Having an unqualified executor

Your executor should be someone you can rely on to carry out your wishes. However, you might realize that the person you appointed no longer values your relationship. Or they may confront unexpected circumstances, such as death or illness. If so, you should carefully rethink who will be your next executor and reflect those changes on your estate plan.

Maintaining an up-to-date estate plan can help ensure your assets pass on to your heirs how you see fit. However, there is no reason to delay a review; you can still update your estate plan without waiting for a significant life event.

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