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When do you need to revise your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Estate Planning

Most people put an estate plan together and throw the documents in a drawer or safe until they’re needed – but estate plans need to be occasionally reviewed so that they can be revised whenever it’s appropriate.

Broadly speaking, you should automatically review your estate plan every three years – but certain life events should trigger a review even sooner. Consider these:

1. You marry, divorce or have a child

Major changes in your family structure should always prompt you to take a hard look at your estate plan. If you’ve recently married or divorced, you may need to change everything from who you have named the executor of your estate to your beneficiary designations on your life insurance. If you’ve recently had a child, you want your estate plan to include them – and you need to designate a guardian in case something happens to you and their other parent.

2. You have recently moved 

Every state follows its own rules when it comes to the requirements for wills, trusts and probate. If you retire and relocate, one of the first things you should do is make certain that your estate plan is valid for your new location.

3. Your interpersonal relationships have changed

People choose executors, trustees and powers of attorney for all kinds of deeply personal reasons, but your relationships with those people can change over the years. The person you named as your executor may have moved far away or no longer be capable of handling the job, and you may have grown apart from the person you once trusted to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. 

It’s easy to get bogged down in the details when you’re revising an estate plan. Tailored legal guidance can help you decide the best way to proceed.