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When should you update your estate planning documents?

Once you create an estate plan, it's easy to believe that you can leave it as is indefinitely. While you may find that you never need to make changes, don't count on this always being the case.

There are many reasons why you may need to update your estate planning documents, including the following:

  • A person you named as a beneficiary, such as a spouse, has passed on
  • You need to name new people in your will, such as a child recently added to the family
  • You are recently married, widowed or divorced
  • New state laws impact the terms of your estate plan
  • You need to change the guardian of your minor children
  • Your children reach the age of 18
  • You recently acquired a valuable asset, such as a second home

Along with the above, there's one last thing to remember: the passage of time should be enough to inspire a review of your estate plan with an eye toward making changes. As the years go by, your personal and financial situations change. When this happens, you need to review your estate plan to see if it requires any adjustments as well.

If you have any reason to believe that you need to update your estate planning documents, you should take immediate action. The last thing you want to do is avoid this process, all the while realizing that it's a big mistake.

Once you review your documents and make note of the changes you should make, it's much easier to move forward in a confident manner. This will once again put your mind at ease as it pertains to your estate plan.

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Reasons to Update Your Will & Estate Planning Documents," accessed Sep. 21, 2017

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