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2 ways to update an estate plan

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Estate Planning

Making an estate plan is certainly important. But many people make the mistake of creating the plan and then neglecting to update it. The plan slowly becomes outdated and, by the time they actually pass away, there could be major issues that the family has to sort out.

Therefore, it’s very important to make updates periodically. There are essentially two different schools of thought on when to do this, and you can also combine them if you would like.

Setting up a schedule

First of all, you could set up a schedule simply based on how often you want to make updates. Maybe you’d like to make to review your plan every year and decide if any updates are necessary. Some people also use a biannual schedule. It depends on your age and how much you anticipate things changing. 

A major benefit of doing it this way is that it’s harder to forget, and you know that the plan is always close to up-to-date – at least within that timeframe. If you make updates every year, for example, it could only be 12 months out of date at most.

Looking for life events

The other way to do this is just to look for key life events signifying that updates are necessary. Maybe you sold a business or a family home. Perhaps you retired and got a nice bonus on the way out the door. Maybe a grandchild was recently born and needs to be included in your plan. These are just a few examples of potential life events that may mean a review would be prudent.

You can also combine these by creating a schedule and then doing extra reviews when major life changes occur. No matter what tactic you decide to use, just be sure you understand exactly what legal steps to take to create the right estate plan for you and your family.