When do I update my estate plan?
A: Estate planning is an ongoing process. You are likely to have more than one Will drafted in your lifetime. Your Will can be changed any time and is not considered final and irrevocable until your death. Your Will should take into account your family, your assets, your wishes, and the laws in effect at the time the Will is written. Over time, some or all of these factors may change, and the changes may indicate a need to review your estate plan.
Some of the events that may trigger a review of an existing Will are the following:
- Birth of a child or grandchild;
- Marriage or marriage of a child;
- Death or disability of a parent, spouse, a designated executor, trustee or beneficiary of your Will;
- Divorce or divorce of a child;
- Receiving an inheritance or other windfall;
- A significant loss or decrease in value of your assets;
- Purchasing an out-of-state vacation home;
- Relocation to a new state;
- Change in federal or state taxes assessed against the estate at death.
It is important to keep a copy of your Will in a place where it can be easily retrieved. You should take it out and reread it from time to time to make sure that you are still happy with its provisions. If any of the triggering events listed above occurs, you should consult your attorney or financial planner about whether a new Will or a Codicil to your existing Will is advisable.