Writing an estate plan is a necessary task that most Americans never get around to doing. In fact, according to reporting from CNBC, roughly 67 percent of adults in the U.S. do not have even a will, let alone a comprehensive estate plan.
While you certainly should be proud of your estate planning accomplishments, your work is never done. Indeed, you must review your planning documents occasionally to ensure they continue to be accurate and current. When conducting your review, watch for three things.
The makeup of any family can change because of marriage, divorce, adoption, death, estrangement or some other reason. You do not want to leave assets or critical decisions to someone you no longer know or like, though. Therefore, during your review, check your beneficiaries to ensure they match your genuine wishes.
It is not kind to leave hassles for your loved ones to deal with, especially when they are grieving your passing. Consequently, you should carefully review all your assets and ensure they can transfer as quickly and easily as possible. If you have new assets you have not yet addressed, you should include them in your estate plan. Removing assets you have sold, given away or lost cannot hurt either.
You might have an advanced directive or other estate planning documents that provide precise directions for your doctors and others to follow. The passage of time might have caused you to change your mind, though. Therefore, you should read through any instructions in your estate plan to make sure they continue to match your sensibilities.
Ultimately, regardless of whether you make any changes or updates to your estate plan, reviewing it regularly can give you some valuable peace of mind.