When you create an estate plan, you may feel tempted to just sit on it after you finish. After all, it takes a lot of time, effort and hard work just to make the initial plan. But your life is fluid and constantly in motion. Thus, your estate plan needs to change to keep up with your life circumstances.
But how often do you actually need to review your plan? Are there any guidelines you should follow?
Handling asset changes
Forbes delves into the times in your life where you may want to consider reviewing your estate plan. First, you should always review any time you come across significant changes in your finances or assets. This includes positive or negative changes. Examples involve falling into debt, coming into an inheritance or transferring your form of assets. For example, you may sell a property and gain money from the sale.
Swapping out beneficiaries or key figures
Next, consider reviewing if your beneficiaries or key figures change. This can include your healthcare proxy and power of attorney. As your life shifts, people will come into it and leave it. They may do this for reasons ranging from marriage to divorce. Some people simply drift apart. Others may pass away before you. You always want your plan to reflect your most current relationships.
But what happens if nothing has changed in your life? What if years go by without any significant differences? In that case, experts suggest reviewing your plan every three years. You can do a brief overview of the most important parts like your will and trust. This lets you refresh your memory and make sure everything is still up to standard.