As this blog recently pointed out, estate planning is important for everyone. It is also important to regularly update an estate plan and be familiar with certain circumstances that should occasion updating an estate plan.
Though estate planners should make a practice of regularly reviewing their estate plan, there are certain circumstances when estate planners should take a peak and update their estate plan.
The estate planner moves
If the estate planner moves to another state, they should make sure to update their estate plan to ensure it is compliant with the estate planning laws in their new state such as requirements for a will to be valid.
The estate planner’s relationships change
If the estate planner’s relationships change, such as they have a child or get married, they should update their estate plan to reflect those changes. Likewise, if the estate planner suffers a death or divorce, they should also update their estate plan to reflect those changes as well.
The designations in the will are outdated
If the designations in the estate planner’s estate plan, such as an executor, trustee or guardian, become outdated for one reason or another, the estate plan should be updated to include those changes. Estate planners should also keep designations in their life insurance policy and on their retirement accounts up-to-date.
The estate planner’s assets or liabilities change
If the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change, their estate plan should be updated to include those changes because the estate plan is used to distribute their assets.
Estate planning is not a one time or one-size-fits all process. Estate planning tools are available so an estate planner can tailor their estate plan to their needs and goals for their estate plan and update their estate plan as needed when circumstances change. For that reason, estate planners should be familiar with estate planning resources and how they can help them.