Don’t let your estate plan become outdated

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Writing an estate plan is important for your future and for your family. Far too many people haven’t written a plan at all. They’ve left no instructions for the distribution of their assets or what end-of-life care they would like to receive.

However, even among those who have written estate plans, it’s a problem if those plans become outdated. It’s best for people to update their plan on a specific schedule, such as reviewing that plan annually, or to look for life events that may mean the plan needs to be altered.

What type of event would qualify?

There are many different life events that could mean it’s time to review your estate plan, depending on the unique specifics of the situation. Examples include:

  • A serious medical diagnosis 
  • The death of a beneficiary 
  • The birth of a child 
  • The birth of a grandchild 
  • The loss of a significant asset; i.e., the sale of a family business
  • The acquisition of major assets 
  • Changes to the law, especially if they could have financial or tax implications 
  • Changes to marital status, either through marriage or divorce

The above are common examples, but everyone’s situation is unique. For instance, two people could have a falling out and a parent may decide to disinherit a child. That would require an update to the estate plan. Another parent may decide they’ll just put the child’s assets into a trust, rather than disinheriting them. This would also require an update, but it would be much different.

In other words, it’s very important for people to know exactly what legal options they have when making or updating an estate plan, especially when considering end-of-life care and medical decisions.