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When to Update an Estate Plan

Judith Trentman Wilson, Attorney at Law, P.C. July 9, 2020

There are some important times in the estate planner’s life when they should consider updating their estate plan. Because an estate plan should not be set in stone, it is helpful for estate planners to know when they should update their estate plan.

Estate plans are designed to accomplish the wishes of the estate planners. With this purpose in mind, it is important to update an estate as those wishes or circumstances change. The first important time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner moves to another state. The estate planner should ensure as soon as they are able that their estate plan complies with the laws in your new state.

Another important time to consider updating an estate plan is if the estate planner’s assets or liabilities change. The estate plan should be kept current with the estate planner’s changing assets and liabilities. Also, if the executor or trustee designations change because one or the other becomes inappropriate, the estate plan should include that change. Beneficiary designations on insurance plans and retirement accounts should also be kept current.

Lastly, another important time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner’s relationships change. This can include if the estate planner marries or divorces, experiences a birth in their family or suffers a death. The estate planner may need to add a guardian to their estate plan or add or remove a beneficiary, for instance. Estate planning is important for everyone to do but estate planners should also always keep in mind the importance of updating their estate plan to keep up with their changing lives.