Clients often ask us how often they should come back to us about possible updates to their estate plan. While that can depend on your plan’s complexity, generally it is good to to review your documents at least every few years to reacquaint yourself with what they provide. In that review, think about how your family and financial situation may have changed since you last did a new will or trust document (or amendment). Some typical changes that can arise:
- Have you been married, widowed, or divorced?
- Do you now have children, or more children? Or grandchildren? Or has the death of any family member affected your wishes for your estate plan?
- Have/has you, a spouse, or a family member experienced an illness or a disability that your estate plan should address?
- Is it now time to put a beneficiary’s inheritance into a trust, or to change the provisions of a trust for their benefit?
- Do you want to change the guardians or trustees for your minor children?
- Have your children matured enough that it’s now time to transition to them, and away from your parents or siblings, as the executor(s) of your estate?
- Have you had any significant change in your assets (particularly positive changes) — are you earning more or less, have your investments done well or poorly, have you inherited assets, or have debts or liabilities piled up?
- Are there new or different types of assets that need to be addressed in your estate plan? For example, do you need to title, or retitle, these new or different types of assets in your revocable trust? Did you increase life insurance coverage significantly?
- Have you heard that the estate or income tax laws have changed in a way that you think might affect your estate plan?
More generally, has anything in your life changed in a way that can affect the current provisions of your will or trust?
Consult your estate planning advisors with any questions. Visit The Connolly Gallagher Trust & Estate page by clicking here.