How often should I review my estate plan?

March 15, 2023

Estate planning is an essential part of securing your financial future and ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. However, estate planning is not a one-and-done process. Life is constantly changing, and so are your financial circumstances and family dynamics. That’s why it is crucial to regularly review your estate plan to ensure that it is up to date and accurately reflects your wishes. Here are some guidelines on when you should review your estate plan:

1. Major life events: Any significant life event, such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or death of a loved one, can have an impact on your estate plan. After any significant life event, it is essential to review your estate plan to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances.

2. Changes in financial circumstances: If your financial circumstances change significantly, such as if you receive a large inheritance or sell a business, it is important to review your estate plan. A change in your financial situation may require adjustments to your estate plan, such as updating your beneficiaries or adjusting the amount of assets in your trust.

3. Changes in the law: Estate planning laws and regulations are constantly changing, and it is essential to stay up to date with any changes that may affect your estate plan. For example, changes in tax laws may require adjustments to your estate plan to minimize taxes or take advantage of new planning opportunities.

4. Every 3-5 years: Even if there are no significant life events or changes in your financial situation, it is recommended that you review your estate plan every 3-5 years. This regular review ensures that your plan is up to date and reflects any changes in the law or your personal circumstances.

5. New assets or property: If you acquire new assets or property, it is important to ensure that they are included in your estate plan. For example, if you purchase a new home or inherit a family heirloom, you may need to update your will or trust to include these assets.

In conclusion, regularly reviewing your estate plan is essential to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes and is up to date with any changes in your life or the law. It is recommended that you review your estate plan every few years, or whenever significant life events occur, changes in your financial circumstances, or changes in the law. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that your estate plan is properly reviewed and updated as needed.

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