An estate plan ensures your wishes unfold the way you want, but planning is not a one-and-done task. Life is ever-changing, and so are your circumstances.
Your estate plan should evolve with you to remain effective and aligned with your current goals, especially when circumstances in your life change.
1. Life milestones
One key trigger for reviewing your estate plan is any significant life event. Events such as marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of children, or the passing of a loved one can dramatically impact your financial and personal situation. It is important to reflect these changes in your estate plan promptly.
2. Changes in assets
Your financial situation can change significantly over time. If you acquire new assets, such as real estate or investments, or if you sell assets, you should update your plan accordingly. Changes in income, debts and investments can affect the distribution of your assets.
3. Alterations in laws and regulations
Estate planning laws can change over time, impacting the management of your assets and associated taxes. An outdated plan may lead to complications, delays, or unintended consequences when administering your estate. Periodic updates can help you take advantage of any new tax-saving strategies that may become available.
4. Aging and health considerations
As you age, your health and medical needs may evolve. Consider updating your healthcare directives, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations to ensure your medical and financial decisions align with your current situation, as well as taking into account any potential long-term care financial needs.
While you may be part of the 46% of Americans with a will, life is unpredictable. A routine check-in on your estate plan can help ensure your plan remains up-to-date and in line with your goals.