Most people don’t consider estate planning a good time. They know it’s important to them and their family, but they do their best to avoid spending too much time on it.
Once you create an estate plan, you’ll feel better about your circumstances and dealing with an uncertain future. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the initial creation of an estate plan is all you need.
There are times in your life when you should review and possibly update your estate plan:
- The passage of time: For example, you created a trust 20 or 30 years ago and haven’t thought much about it since. Upon further review, you find that you need to make a few changes, such as changing the trustee.
- Marriage or divorce: Take for instance a young professional in the tech industry who is quickly amassing assets. If this person goes through a divorce, they’ll want to adjust their estate plan to protect their assets from their ex.
- Bringing a child into your family: This changes everything, so make sure you take immediate action. One of the most important things you can do is name a guardian. This is the person who will care for your child should you and your spouse pass on before they reach the legal age of 18.
- Changes to state and/or federal laws: As time goes by, laws associated with estate planning will change. From how retirement assets are passed on to estate taxes, you need to review your estate plan if anything changes.
- Addition of new assets: Maybe you just purchased a multi-million dollar home. Or maybe you received a huge bonus at work. Perhaps your parents left you an inheritance. If you add a valuable asset to your life, make sure you take it into consideration in your estate plan.
When you take the time to review your estate plan, it’s easy to see if you need to make any changes. If you find that you do, now’s the time for action. Don’t wait around, as doing so puts you and your family at risk. Make the changes, be sure they’re legal and continue to review your estate plan as necessary in the future.