Your estate plan carries your final wishes regarding the distribution of the estate to your loved ones. If it is not current, it has the potential of creating division among the beneficiaries.
Picture a will that leaves out certain assets and property or includes beneficiaries who are no longer alive or maybe no longer part of the family because of divorce. It can throw the whole probate process in disarray. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that everything is up to date.
When should you update your estate plan?
It is advisable to revise or at least review your estate plan every couple of years, or when something significant happens in your life or your family. For instance, if you move to a different state, it is necessary to ensure that your estate plan follows state law. Even small legal differences may invalidate it.
Other reasons that can trigger a revision of your estate plan include:
- Death or birth of a beneficiary
- Changes in the estate’s assets or properties
- Changes in the charities to which you want to make donations
Reviewing your estate plan should be routine to be on the safe side.
Getting it right
Your estate plan will directly affect your loved ones, so you need to get everything right. Ensure that you look at everything — from the beneficiaries to the executors — and make everything crystal clear. While you can use a codicil for minor changes, extensive changes may need a a more thorough overhaul of your plan. It’s important to have experienced legal guidance as you update your estate plan.