Upon creating a comprehensive estate plan, you'll feel a sense of relief. You now have a plan in place to protect you and your assets while you're alive, as well as after your death.
It's not something you should dwell on every day of the week, but there are times when you should review your estate plan with the idea of making key changes.
Here are some of the most common situations that call for an update to your estate plan:
- A beneficiary has passed on: For example, if your spouse is named as the beneficiary of all your assets, you'll want to change this if they pass on before you.
- Name a new person in your will or trust: From birth to marriage to adoption, there are many reasons why you may need to do this.
- Divorce: If you decide to move on from your marriage, immediately review your estate plan to determine the best way to remove your ex. For instance, if they're listed as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, it's probably time for a change.
- New laws: Federal and state estate planning laws are always changing. This doesn't necessarily mean you should alter your estate plan, but you may find that it's necessary. It's critical to stay current with all changes.
- Increase or decrease in the value of your estate: Pay close attention to major swings in either direction. Maybe you win the lottery. Maybe you receive an inheritance of your own. Or maybe you file for bankruptcy to find financial relief. All of these things call for an estate plan review.
- Change in trustee, executor or guardian: The person you name in your original estate plan may not be the person who remains in place for the rest of your life. A change may be necessary for many reasons, such as if a guardian passes away or a trustee becomes seriously ill.
By reviewing your estate plan once or twice a year, you're able to make timely changes as necessary. Before you finalize any adjustments, review the pros and cons of your decision to ensure that it's best for you and your family.
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