When is it time to update your estate plan?

by | Oct 15, 2022 | Estate Planning

After creating your estate plan, you then have to continue its management indefinitely. After all, an estate plan is essentially useless if it does not accurately reflect your current life.

So how do you know when it is time to update your estate plan? Is there a time limit that you have to operate within?

Review your plan regularly

Forbes discusses good times to update your estate plan. Fortunately, you do not have to stick to a strict time schedule when it comes to updating your plan. However, most advice suggests that you review your plan for potential revisions at least once every 3 to 5 years.

This gives you plenty of time in between reviews, while also not waiting too long. You can do a quick review to refresh your memory, which might bring to mind changes that you forgot you made and never properly wrote down or handled.

Review during major life changes

Beyond that, you should also review your estate plan any time you see major changes to at least three areas of your life: your beneficiaries, your assets and your location.

Regarding location, each state has its own laws regarding estate plans. If you move states, you want to double-check that your current plan is still legal under the new state’s laws.

For assets, you cannot give away what you do not have. If you see major changes – positive or negative – to your assets that might last longer than a few months, you will likely want to update your plan. The same goes for beneficiaries, i.e. the people who will benefit from your estate.

By updating your plan appropriately, you can avoid giving your loved ones more work after your death.