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When should I update my estate plan?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2020 | Estate Planning |

An estate plan ensures that the testator can pass their assets and estate on to their loved ones.  The planning you set in place years ago may not accurately reflect your current wishes.  Testators can change their wills as needed, but what are good times in life to make these changes?

Estate plans cover a lot of areas.  When life changes, your plans should change with it.  Some changes can distract you from remembering to update your plans, so here are some of the events you may have already experienced that could call for an estate plan update:

Marriage or divorce

When a person gains or loses a spouse, they will likely need to update their beneficiaries to reflect this change.  Wills, 401Ks, pensions, and health insurance policies need updating after a marital status change.

Childbirth or adoption

When a family grows, planning today can be a significant benefit for tomorrow.  Setting up a trust for college, establishing guardianship in the event of both parents passing, and creating a college fund are valuable efforts that can help protect your child’s future.

Major career changes

If you were to gain or lose substantial income, you might also want to update your will.  Your beneficiaries may change depending on how much money you can give once you have passed.

Moving to a new state

Each state has its own laws about inheritance taxes.  If you relocate to a different state, speak with an estate planning attorney to ensure that state laws do not interfere with your wishes.

Keep your plans up to date

It is not enough to establish your estate plans once.  Testators need to make sure their current life reflects their estate plan’s orders.  A few minutes of planning today can assure privacy while reducing controversy and unintended negative results concerning the transfer of your assets to your intended beneficiaries after your passing.