Making an estate plan is a terrific first step for anyone to take. But it’s problematic to assume that this is the final step. You don’t want to make that plan and then forget about it. It’s actually important to update it periodically.
But how do you know when to update it? Some people just decide to have an annual review, checking to see if there have been any changes to the law or changes to their own situation that need to be addressed. But you can also look for key times in your life, such as the three noted below.
You move to a new state
Maybe you started working remotely over the last two years, and you recently decided to move to Florida. If you did, then you may not be sure if the estate plan you created elsewhere is going to comply with Florida law. It certainly may, but it’s important to go over it to make sure so that you know you can trust the plan when it’s actually needed.
You get divorced or married
When your marital status changes, whether that means you’re tying the knot or splitting up, you also want to go over that estate plan. This can become especially complicated when blended families are involved. At the end of the day, you simply need to make sure that you’ve updated your plan to address your current marital situation. Some things, such as life insurance policies, may also need to be updated so that your ex doesn’t remain the beneficiary.
You had a child
Finally, people should update their state plan any time that they have a child. For one thing, they may need to update the financial allocations to include this child. For another, estate planning can also set up guardianships and trusts that could benefit the child if the parents pass away while they’re still a minor. Essentially, creating an estate plan at this point is just a good way to secure that child’s future.
If you already have a plan but you’re not sure that it’s going to stand up in court, it may be time to start looking over it and updating that plan. Make sure you know exactly what legal steps you’ll need to take.