Estate planning is an important part of ensuring your loved ones have everything they need after you pass. However, if you fail to update your plans regularly, you could leave your beneficiaries with a mess to sort through.
Changes in your life can have significant implications for your estate. You should consider reviewing your plans after any major life events.
You get married or divorced
You should always follow up on a change in your marital status with an update of your will and other estate documents. You may need to add or remove your current or former spouse as a beneficiary, power of attorney or executor.
You have a child
After the birth of a child, you should revisit your estate plans to ensure they account for the unique needs of minor children. For example, you should make sure your will names a guardian should something happen to you.
Your financial circumstances change
When you experience a large shift in your finances, your estate plans will need to reflect this change. You will likely need to rethink the distribution of your assets.
Additionally, you will need to consider the tax implications for your beneficiaries, and you may need to restructure your will or trusts to minimize estate taxes.
You move out of state
Because every state has its own inheritance laws, you will need to update your plans to ensure that your wishes are not in conflict with the requirements of your new residence.
Even when you have not experienced a major life event, you should still consider updating your estate documents every few years. Changes in tax law and other legislation could impact your end-of-life plans.