If you’ve created an estate plan, you’re already one step ahead of the game – – but you aren’t out of the woods just yet.
A comprehensive estate plan is a vehicle that can help transfer assets and debts upon your passing. As with any vehicle, your estate plan will require maintenance to keep it functioning properly.
Changes in the law can mean that it’s time to take your plan in for a check-up, but so can significant life events.
Here are a few significant life events that could mean your estate plan is out of date.
Birth or adoption
If you’ve welcomed a new child into the family since the execution of your estate plan, congratulations!
However, this is an example of one event that can make your estate plan out of date. As your family grows, it may be a good idea to review your plan to ensure that it accounts for any new family members.
Marriage or divorce
When there’s been a marriage or a divorce, you likely want to make changes to the plan. These types of life events can affect a wide array of your documents from the beneficiary to health care agent designations. Updating your documents as soon as possible can ensure that your plan is current with the events in your life (and that your estate isn’t left with your ex-spouse if that isn’t what you want.)
Changes in health
It may be that your health has taken a turn for the worst. While you may have a full recovery, a change in health can be a good time to pull your estate plan off the shelf. Depending on the status of your health, some documents may take effect sooner than others may such as your health care directive or power of attorney. Checking to make sure that these documents are up-to-date with your wishes could be worth your while.
Estate plans are only as effective as you make them. By reviewing your documents regularly, you can ensure that they account for all of the changes in your life and the law.