Designing an estate plan is only the beginning. Maintaining your plan over time and modifying it as your life progresses will keep it working the way you intend it to.
Knowing the types of circumstances that could impact your plan can help you stay vigilant about updating it.
Perhaps the most common reason for needing to update your estate plan is growth or changes within your family. Changes to your family dynamic could take on many forms including marriage, the births of children or grandchildren, divorce, remarriage and adoption. Differences of opinion that affect personal relationships may also impact your choices for beneficiaries and other plan participants.
Periodically reviewing your plan can help you identify if there are people you want to disinherit or add as a beneficiary. According to U.S. News, experts recommend that you update your plan every five to seven years. These updates should happen sooner if you experience a significant change in your family dynamic.
External influences outside of your control could also impact your estate plan and its function. For example, if your job takes you to another state, different laws may apply. Similarly, changes to tax laws can also alter your plan. Making updates as soon as you can guarantees that every aspect continues to operate the way you want it to.
Having an estate plan can provide a great deal of support to your surviving family members. Additionally, it can help you envision your future and set goals for a comfortable life in your later years. Maintaining its function throughout time can help you preserve your legacy with confidence.