Not only is having a valid will and estate plan critical for most adults, but it is also important to have your will and estate documents reviewed and updated periodically. Many estate plans that were carefully drafted will end up failing by the time they are needed because they are either out-dated or the assets are not properly titled so as to make the documents effective. Many life events can cause your estate documents to require updating.
The most common life events triggering the need for an estate plan review are:
- Change in martial status such as a marriage, separation, divorce or death of a spouse.
- Change in family circumstances such as a birth, adoption or death of a beneficiary.
- Children reaching age 18.
- Acquisition of a significant assets such as real estate, a new life insurance policy, additional investment or retirement account or similar.
- Acquisition or sale of an interest in a business.
- A desire to change the persons that you have designated as guardian, personal representative, or trustee.
- Change in how you would like your belongings to be distributed.
- Desire to add or change a charitable beneficiary.
- Change in state or country of residence.
- Change in estate tax laws.
- You are at or approaching an age at which you will be required to take distributions from an IRA, 401(k) or other qualified plan.
- Passage of time, plans should be reviewed every 2-5 years depending upon circumstances.