When creating an estate plan, the only thing you can do is make the best possible decisions at that particular time. However, you should come to grips with the fact that you may need to review and alter your estate plan at some point in the future.
There are particular times to consider taking action, including but not limited to the following:
· Passage of time: As you age, it’s important that you regularly review your estate plan to ensure that it still meets your wants and needs. For example, if your spouse has passed on before you, it’s likely that you’ll need to change some parts of your estate plan, such as if you’ve named them as your beneficiary on your life insurance policy. Try to review your estate plan once a year or every other year.
· Marriage or divorce: Both of these are major steps in your life, so strongly consider the impact they will have on your estate plan. Maybe you’re going through a divorce and realize that your ex-spouse is in line to receive your assets upon your death. You probably want to change this as soon as possible, so as not to take this risk.
· Expanding your family: When expanding your family, either through the birth of a child or adoption, it’s critical that you review your estate plan at the appropriate time. For instance, it’s a must to name a guardian for any children who are under the age of 18. This person takes on the responsibility of raising them should you be unable to do so, such as the result of your death.
· Change in financial circumstances: As the years go by, your financial circumstances will change. Maybe you get a big promotion and your net worth quickly increases. Or maybe you receive an inheritance or win the lottery. Regardless of what type of change your finances go through, consider the impact on your estate plan.
If you get into the habit of regularly reviewing your estate plan, you’ll never wonder if it’s in good working order. You’ll always have a clear idea of what it says, how to attack the future and if you need to make any changes.