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When Should I Revise My Estate Plan?

June 27, 2018

If you have been through the process of creating an estate plan, then you probably know what a relief it can be to have in place the necessary documentation to protect your wishes, your property and your loved ones.

However, it can be necessary to review your estate plan periodically to ensure it continues to protect all of this. In fact, you should do this after some important — and common — events.

Events that Affect Your Assets

If your assets change significantly, you will want to review your plan. Events that affect the money, property and other assets in your estate plan can include:

  • A considerable increase in assets

  • A considerable loss of assets

  • Buying or selling property

  • Starting or selling a business

Events that Affect Your Beneficiaries

Even if your assets stay the same, the people who are in a position to receive these assets can change. Events involving beneficiaries might include:

  • Divorce

  • Marriage, or remarriage

  • Having a child (or grandchild)

  • Death of a loved one

Events that Affect Your Wishes

People change over time. What you want today may not align with what you wanted when you created your estate plan, so it can be wise to review your plan if you:

  • Change your mind about end-of-life care

  • Decide in favor of or against certain types of medical treatments

  • Choose to (or not to) support specific philanthropic or charitable organizations

  • Want to reassign guardians, personal representatives, etc.

Under these and similar circumstances, it can be necessary to review your estate plan to ensure it reflects your current assets, relationships and wishes. Even if you decide not to make any changes, knowing that an estate plan continues to be purposeful and reflective of your wishes can give you the continued peace of mind in knowing your affairs are in order.