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When is it time to change an estate plan?

Knowing when to update your estate plan can be as important as getting one set up to begin with. Certain circumstances should trigger a review of your estate plan to ensure it is current and estate planners should be familiar with when they should update their estate plan.

A good rule of thumb is when the estate planner experiences any big life change, they should consider updating their estate plan. The purpose of an effective estate plan is to accomplish the wishes of the estate planner so it is important to ensure their estate plan reflects their current wishes. To begin with, following a major move to another state is a good time to update an estate plan and ensure it complies with the laws in the new state.

In addition, another important time to update an estate plan is if the estate planner has experienced a relationship change such as a marriage, divorce, or birth of a child. These types of life changes are a good time to ensure the estate planner’s beneficiary, guardian and other designations in their estate plan are up-to-date. As part of updating an estate plan, estate planners should also review to determine if their retirement plan designation is out-of-of date and needs updating or if changes to executor or trustee designations are needed.

Lastly, as a general principle, estate planners should review their estate plan every three years or so to make sure everything is current. Updating an estate plan is an important part of the estate planning process which is why every estate planner should know when they should take a look at updating theirs.