How Often Should You Update Your Estate Plan?

July 8, 2010

You've completed your estate plan and you feel like a major weight is off your shoulders. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a one-time process. Remember, changes in your life might affect your estate plan.

When to Update Your Estate Plan

For example, any of the following instances in your life would require you to make changes in your estate plan: marriage or divorce, birth of children, adoption, receiving an inheritance, selling or buying a business or property, winning the lottery, retirement, or moving to a new state.

Any of these changes in your life will require you to reevaluate your estate planning choices. When possible, it is always a good idea to plan a meeting with your estate planning attorney before the changes actually take place. You may want to update your plan because you wish to change beneficiaries or change the share being given to a particular beneficiary. You might change your opinion about people or loved ones. Your family structure might undergo a change. All these instances would require a change in your estate plan.

Apart from changes in your own life, tax and estate planning laws also keep changing. There may be new strategies of which you wish to take advantage. In all probability, a change would affect your estate plan, requiring an update.

Estate Planning Lawyers

If you are a client of Anderson, Dorn & Rader, you know the best way to avoid missing a required update or revision in your estate plan is to attend our annual client appreciation event. At our next event you will be invited to participate in an annual maintenance program that will allow you to be aware of law changes and to amend your trust for no additional fee, in many cases. In any case you should schedule a regular estate plan update every three to five years. Like a fine automobile, your estate plan will function more smoothly when the time comes to use it if it has regular checkups and service. If it has been a few years, give us a call and let's review it together.


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