While it is always a good decision to prepare an Estate Plan, there are times in our lives in which obtaining an Estate Plan is imperative. In addition, many think that once the Estate Plan has been created, they can lock it away, never to be seen again. However our lives are ever changing. Therefore, periodic reviews of Estate Plans are vital. Estate Plans should be reviewed every 3 to 5 years and updated upon occurrences of certain events of our lives.
The following is a list of times in which it is imperative to prepare or review your Estate Plan:
- A beneficiary of an Estate Plan becomes disabled or develops special needs;
- You are going to inherit or have inherited assets from a friend or family member;
- You are expecting a child;
- You have minor children;
- There is strife or tension between family members;
- You have children from different marriages or relationships;
- Divorce or separation;
- A substantial change in your assets;
- Death of a beneficiary or fiduciary;
- You become incapacitated or disabled;
- You purchase or sell a business or business interest;
- You move to a new state;
- You adopt a child;
- You have another child;
- You are recently married; and
- Changes in Estate or Tax Laws.
While this list is not exhaustive, these events trigger the need for an Estate Plan or a review of a current Estate Plan. The purpose of the Estate Plan is to take care of your family and loved ones upon your passing and an outdated Estate Plan will not accomplish those goals.