Over the course of your life, you work hard to establish a career for yourself and your loved ones. Your estate is more than the value of your assets. It is a legacy to pass on to your loved ones.
While coming up with an estate plan may represent one item on your to-do list, estate planning is not a single event. As your life and goals change, your estate plan should, as well.
These are some of the times you should revisit your estate plan.
Life’s significant events
Life is always changing, and some of those changes can have a considerable impact. Although not every change requires another revision of your estate plan, times when you should reevaluate, include:
- Significant income changes for you or your spouse. An increase in assets could mean a difference in estate taxes.
- Change in health. You may need to include other documents if your health declines.
- Changes in the family. You may need to make changes anytime there is a birth, death or a child becomes an adult.
- Sale or purchase of significant assets. Any time you purchase or sell significant assets (such as a house or vehicle), you may need to make changes to your estate plane.
An updated estate plan is essential both you, your loved ones and for the executor of your estate. Updating your estate plan means that your executor will not have to guess what you intended for changes that are not in your estate planning documents.
You may be at a time in your life when there are not a lot of significant changes. Just because your life has not changed, does not mean you can neglect your estate plan.
When you have months or years with no significant life changes, you should still look at your plan at regular intervals, depending on your age, health and family. Taking time regularly to look at your estate plan gives you the opportunity to asses any minor changes to your financial situation as well as any legal changes.