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Do you need to look at your estate plan ever again?

Many people do not enjoy thinking about their estate plan. You think once you have it finished, you shouldn’t have to think about it again, right?

Unfortunately, no.

There are a variety of reasons you should update your estate plan. For this reason, it is also important to periodically review your plan to make sure it is up-to-date. So when should you check it and why might you need to make changes to it?

When to check

As a general rule, people should review their estate plans every three to five years. This ensures that your estate plan still accurately reflects your assets, property and wishes.

Checking your estate plan this frequently also helps ensure you are following all tax laws and regulations.

Other reasons to check your estate plan outside of the three-to-five rule-of-thumb include:

  • Moving states – tax laws and estate planning laws can vary from state to state
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or death of a family member
  • Changing jobs
  • Inheritance or other asset change

Why to amend or change

You might be wondering why you would ever need to change your estate plan, especially if you put a lot of time and effort into creating it in the first place. However, circumstances change all the time.

As stated above, a few of the reasons to amend or adjust your plan involve the coming and going of people in your life. If you get married or divorced, you may want to change your beneficiaries, power of attorney or the guardianship of your kids. Similarly, births of new children and death of family members can prompt this type of change.

A large influx of assets or property can also require you to adjust your plan. For example, if you decide to start a business, you will want to include provisions for what will happen to the company after you cannot take care of it anymore.

While thinking about your estate plan and the time when you are no longer around for your loved ones can be difficult, reviewing your estate plan ensures their future. You want to make sure your estate plan accurately reflects your wishes and successfully cares for your loved ones when you are gone. Periodically and consistently reviewing it can help make this happen.

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