When Should You Update Your Estate Plan?

Getting your estate plan in order is a huge task, so when you’re finished it can feel relieving and fulfilling. Congratulations on putting the important work in to protect your assets and secure the future of your hard work, but the work doesn’t stop there!

Your estate plan will evolve over time and should be on your mind whenever you and your loved ones go through major life changes. Whether you sell off assets, acquire more, or experience changes to your family structure, you should be considering how your estate plan will change each step of the way.

Family structure changes

Your family likely takes center stage in much of your estate. Family members often serve as executors and beneficiaries. If that’s the case for you, any relational changes to those family members will impact your estate. So, too, will any deaths in the family.

You may also want to consider adding new provisions to your estate when you or a loved one welcomes a new child to the family! This is a huge moment to celebrate with the family, and the newborn(s) could be included in your estate plans. You or a loved one getting married or divorced will similarly impact your estate.

You purchase property

New property added to your portfolio is one of the most important times to make sure your estate is updated. You will need to include the property in your plans, even if your intention is to buy and flip the property. We don’t always get to plan for when bad things happen to us, so we should never assume our estate plan won’t apply to new assets.

For a trust, your new property will need to be transferred into the trust, but a will can simply outline which beneficiary gets the asset. Property is often one of the most contentious issues in estate plans, so if you fail to outline any property details in your plan it could lead to some major strife between loved ones after you’re gone.

Your assets are depleted

Just the same as acquiring assets, you should review your estate plan whenever you sell, lose, or use up assets. This could mean moving other assets to a beneficiary who was originally set to acquire the diminished assets or just removing the assets in question from your estate.

At the end of the day, we can all try to save up and acquire assets worth passing down to loved ones, but we also still have lives to live. This means your assets are yours to do as you please as long as you don’t have an irrevocable trust. You shouldn’t be afraid to live a good life and move assets to your preference, after all: it’s your hard work!

Whenever you think it’s time to update your estate plan, the best move is to work with your attorney. An estate planning attorney should have the answers to all your biggest questions and can give you guidance on how to proceed when changes are needed. At Solan, Park & Robello, we care for your future. Contact us today to get your plan right.

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Solan, Park & Robello

Solan, Park & Robello is a full-service probate and estate planning firm offering experienced counsel in a wide range of estate planning matters—from preparation to administration to litigation.

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