Need to Review Your Estate Plan

Hoosiers regularly ask if or when they should review and update an existing estate plan. The simple answer is that estate plans need to be regularly reviewed and updated.

Need to Review Your Estate Plan?

Whether we like it or not, change is a constant in our lives. Significant changes of circumstances in our lives should trigger a review of your estate plan.

Happy Changes?

Some changes are happy ones. An obvious example is the birth of a child or grandchild. Marriage of a child or other beneficiary is another change that should cause you to review and perhaps revise your will or other estate planning documents. You may want to add provisions in your plan for the grandchildren. Alternatively, an adult child dealing with substance abuse issues may be best served by having an inheritance held in a trust.

A change in your health or the health of a beneficiary, trustee, attorney-in-fact, etc., is another trigger that should cause you to review and potentially update your documents. If an individual you named as an executor or trustee is faced with significant health issues, it may no longer be appropriate to have them named in your estate plan in a role other than as a beneficiary. A progression of serious health issues may result in their inability to serve in the roles you previously designated.

Review an Existing Plan

A change in your residence from one state to another should always cause you to review an existing plan with an attorney in your new home state. Even if you do not want to change beneficiaries, executors, etc., a change in residence to a new state should result in a review. State laws differ and there are often legal, as well as practical, suggestions that an attorney can provide you.

The changes of circumstances described in this article are only a few common ones that should result in a review of or revision to an estate plan. There are many other changes that should cause at least the same review. Your estate plan was created to reflect your wishes on a specific date and time. As life goes on, continue to reflect on the choices you made as you also consider or address changes in your life, and the lives of the people named in your plan. Even without any major life changes, review your plan every three to five years, just to be certain it still reflects your wishes and serves you well.

Still have questions? Contact Altamn, Poindexter & Wyatt LLC to find out more.

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