It’s dangerous to assume that the original estate plan you create can remain unchanged for the rest of your life. Throughout your life, it’s critical to review your estate plan for changes and then take action as necessary.
Here are some of the times when you must review your estate plan with the idea of making changes for the better:
- Marriage or divorce: Both of these are big changes in your life. For example, if you recently tied the knot, you’ll want to review your estate plan to determine how to add your spouse. It’s likely that you’ll want to add them as your beneficiary (and that’s just the start).
- Major change in finances: Maybe you won the lottery. Maybe you received a sizable inheritance. Perhaps you received a large bonus at work. If you have a major change in financial circumstances, it can call for changes in your estate plan.
- Adding a child to your family: If you add a child to your family, either through birth or adoption, consider the impact it will have on your estate plan. One of the most important things you can do is name a guardian for your child. This is the person that will care for them if you’re unable to do so before they reach the age of 18, such as the result of your premature death.
- It’s been too long since your last review: The years have a way of passing you by. And with so many other things on your plate, it’s possible that you’ll continually put your estate plan on the backburner. If it’s been several years since your last review, take the time to read through your estate plan and make note of any changes that you can make.
If you’re serious about keeping your estate plan up to date, you’ll always be looking for times to take a second look.
Should you find something that requires your attention, think through all your options and then take the appropriate action. Once you’ve updated your estate plan, you’ll feel better about the future and your ability to protect your loved ones.