If you have an existing estate plan you are definitely ahead of most people. Studies show that despite understanding the importance of having an estate plan in place, over half of all Americans have yet to create one. Creating an estate plan is essential; however, if you fail to update the plan on a regular basis or when life events call for an update all of your hard work and good intentions in creating the plan may be for nothing in the end. In fact, an out of date estate plan can be more problematic when it comes to probating your estate than having no estate plan at all would be. With that in mind, when do you need to update your estate plan?
You should sit down and review and revise your estate plan on a regular basis throughout your lifetime. During your working years, a review should be conducted every three to five years. Once you retire, a review every five to eight years is usually sufficient. In addition to regular updates, your estate plan may need to be updated when something prompts the update, including, but not limited to, the following life events:
- Birth and death – the birth of a child, grandchild, or other beneficiary will often prompt the need to change an estate plan as will the death of a beneficiary. In addition, the death of the Executor, Trustee, or Guardian should also prompt a review of your plan.
- Marriage and divorce – your own marriage or divorce will certainly result in the need to change your estate plan. Likewise, the marriage or divorce of a beneficiary may prompt the need to update your plan.
- Move to a new state – state law governs many wills, trusts, and estate issues. Therefore, the move to a new state should cause you to review your estate plan.
- Asset changes – a well drafted estate plan will account for changes in assets; however, if your assets change significantly it is always best to review your plan to see if any changes need to be made to reflect the change in assets.
If you have an existing estate plan and you have not updated it in some time, or a recent life event may call for a review of the plan, contact the experienced New York estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Saul Kobrick, P.C. by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment to sit down and review your estate plan and make any necessary changes to the plan.