While annual reviews are recommended, an estate plan should definitely be updated upon relocation to another state, significant asset acquirement or loss, family changes, or health-related concerns. Our estate planning lawyers provide a list of 10 items for consideration below. If any of these items apply to you, your estate plan is past due for review:
- Your Will has not been reviewed in 3 years or longer.
- You cannot confidently name the beneficiaries, and secondary beneficiaries, on your retirement accounts and life insurance.
- If you have minor children: Are guardian appointments complete and current? If you are divorced or re-married, does your estate plan preserve assets for children or will they pass to a former or current spouse?
- The person you named executor has relocated or passed away.
- You set up a trust, but have not yet fully funded it.
- You addressed how to pass on assets to family upon your death, but failed to provide for management of your assets in the event of your incapacitation.
- You own properties in multiple states and have not established a living trust to hold these assets. (Surviving family members may need to probate properties in each respective state if your plan is not prepared properly.)
- Your digital assets are not addressed in your estate plan.
- You have a living trust that will continue in existence for many years after your death for the benefit of family members, but have not added trust protector provisions for flexibility and protection.
- You have a Will, but no other documents. Creating a Will is not the end of estate planning.
Annual meetings with a lawyer help prevent problems like the ones noted above. If it is not yet regular practice, schedule routine reviews to keep your estate plan up-to-date. Your loved ones will thank you for it!