Recent events have reminded me that we all need to review an existing Will or trust every few years as life changes around us. The friend you appointed as Executor may prove to be less trustworthy than you thought, or your grown child may seem to be developing a drinking problem, or your adored daughter-in-law has filed for divorce from your son. People grow and change, and we sometimes find that our assumptions or predictions about the future are no longer valid.
The changes in the economy and losses in the stock market have brought several people to my office to reduce the charitable requests in an earlier Will. With a smaller estate they find that they cannot be as generous to charitable organizations and prefer to leave a larger amount to their children.
Estate planning is not a one-time thing. It is an ongoing process that should be revisited and re-evaluated from time to time. Your plan should be individualized, tailored to your assets and to suit the changing needs of your family. Your plan should change as your life and your family changes. Your plan is always subject to change, as long as you are living and have the mental capacity to make the changes needed.