There is no specific timeline that you have to follow when deciding if it’s time to review your estate plan, but if it has been several years or you’ve just gone through a major life change, then now may be the time to do so.
Your estate plan protects you and the people you care about when you are incapacitated or pass away. Making sure it is as up to date as possible is a great way to be sure those protections are legally binding and secure.
What are some major life changes that should trigger an estate plan review?
The life changes that will trigger a review of your estate plan could include one of many. Some of the common times to review an estate plan include when you:
- Get a divorce
- Get married
- Have a child
- Lose a loved one
- Start caring for someone as a guardian
- Suffer a serious injury
- Learn that you have a terminal illness
- Move to a new state
- Move to a new country
- Are separated from a spouse
- Are in a long-term relationship but aren’t married
Basically, you will want to review your estate plan at any point when a significant change in your circumstances occurs. Whether you’ve just come into thousands of dollars as an inheritance or you found out that you have a terminal illness, you should go over your estate plan and make sure it is still doing its job and protecting your best interests.
Do you always have to update the estate plan when you review it?
No. Sometimes, going over the plan to make sure it’s still what you want is the only thing you need to do. You don’t have to make alterations unless you want to or in the case that state or federal laws have changed in a way that may negatively impact it.
Since laws change all the time and your life is in a constant flux, it’s valuable for you to review your estate plan at predetermined points as well as when major changes occur. Doing this will make sure you have the most protections in place when you need them.