Having an estate plan serves multiple purposes that benefit both you, as well as your surviving family members after your death. Two of its most rewarding benefits include providing a means for you to plan for your future while also providing a guide to your family regarding your final wishes.
Making the most of your plan requires periodic maintenance. Knowing how to preserve your plan’s function can give you the reassurance that even though life changes, everything remains in working order.
Marriage, divorce and remarriage are some common reasons why you may need to update your estate plan. Other life changes including the birth of children, death, moving to another state, changes to tax laws, acquiring an inheritance or a substantial increase in your assets may also impact the way your plan unfolds.
Immediately update your estate plan when any major development in your life occurs. Procrastinating such modifications could have disappointing and costly outcomes for yourself and other plan participants. According to U.S. News, experts recommend a review of five to seven years to verify accuracy and applicability.
Throughout your life, you may experience changes to your personal beliefs and philosophies. As such, you may wish to add context or remove portions of your estate plan. Relying on your family to honor your legacy when you do not address your intentions in writing may backfire. Going through your plan and adding detail and direction may clarify your wishes and reduce confusion for your loved ones. This simple and periodic update may effectively reduce the risks of an estate dispute after your death.
An effective estate plan requires regular updates over time. Your commitment to preserving your intentions can optimize your efforts and guarantee the execution of your plan according to your desires.