Some people look at estate planning as a one-time event: draw up the documents, get them signed, and lock them away in a safe deposit box. This doesn’t reflect reality, though. Our lives are always changing, and our estate plans need to be updated to reflect those changes.
The needs and desires we had at thirty aren’t the same as those we’ll have at sixty. So, it’s necessary to have a strategy for reviewing and updating your estate plan. First, there are certain life events that should trigger a review of your estate plan. These include:
- The birth or adoption of a child
- Inheriting money
- The death of a spouse
- Moving out-of-state
Aside from these personal changes, shifts in the law can make it necessary to adjust your estate plan. For this reason, it’s a good idea to periodically check with your attorney to make sure that there haven’t been any legislative changes you should be aware of. At our firm, we make sure to let you know of any changes in the law, and we remind you to come in and have your documents reviewed every three years.
If your attorney does not offer this service to you, it is a good idea to make a note to review your estate plan every few years. This gives you a chance to take stock of any life changes and any changes in your personal wishes, as well as a chance to check in with your lawyer and make sure that there are no new laws you should be aware of.
Remember that your estate plan is meant to grow and change with the needs of you and your family.