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Thursday, October 22, 2020

When Should You Revisit Your Estate Plan?

Having an estate plan in place means that you have taken a valuable step towards protecting a future you want for you and your family. In order for an estate plan to be most effective, however, it needs to remain updated so that it always falls in line with your most current wishes. This means that you should take time to revisit your estate plan, especially after major life events, in order to make sure that it still reflects what you want for you and your loved ones.

Times to Revisit Your Estate Plan

You should be sure to schedule periodic reviews of your estate plan. Circumstances change, laws change, and scheduling these reviews will keep you on top of making sure your estate plan is current and avoid it falling by the wayside. In addition to these periodic estate plan reviews, you should also take time to revisit your estate plan in light of major life events.

Moving to a different state, for example, is a good time to revisit your estate plan. While many states will honor estate planning documents, such as a will, if the document was properly executed according to the laws of the state in which it was established, there may be other logistical considerations that need to be addressed in light of the relocation. For instance, you may want to change who you have appointed to positions of responsibility such as a personal representative of your estate, agents pursuant to powers of attorney, and a guardian for a minor child. While people living out of state may still be able to serve these roles, you may prefer to have someone closer to where you relocated for practical reasons. You may also wish to execute certain documents once again, such as a health care surrogate, for it to fall more in line with what people in your current location are more familiar viewing. While a health care document may be honored in a different state, it may be accepted with great hesitancy if a health care worker is unfamiliar with the form used.

A birth in the family is also a smart time to revisit your estate plan. For instance, if you have a new grandchild, you may very well want to include them in your estate plan so that they are set up to inherit directly from your estate. Perhaps you will want to establish a trust that helps them cover the cost of education.

A death in the family can also be a good time to revisit your estate plan. Death can change who you want to designate as a beneficiary, it can also change who you have appointed as your agent pursuant to a durable power of attorney or even the personal representative of your estate. For instance, many people select a spouse for serving in these roles of responsibility. If you survive your spouse, however, you will need to make alternate arrangements.

You may also want to check on your estate plan after a marriage or divorce in the family. With these major life changes often come changes in preferences regarding who will oversee your affairs should you be unable to do so for yourself. It may also encourage you to put inheritance protections in place. For example, if your child is set to marry someone you do not consider to be trustworthy or fiscally responsible, you may want to place his or her inheritance in a trust to protect it from being spent away by an irresponsible spouse.

Estate Planning Attorney

At Monk Law Firm, we work to help ensure that your estate plan reflects your goals and what is important to you. We are also here to help see to it that your estate plan continues to do this throughout the many changes that happen in life. Contact Monk Law Firm today.


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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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| Phone: 704-369-9977

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