Creating your estate plan is an important process, especially when you have specific needs for the distribution of your assets. Many people believe that estate planning is a one-time thing. You might wonder if you need to do anything with your estate plan after you finish it. You should review it periodically, especially after major life changes.
Here are a few times when you should assess your estate plan for necessary updates.
1. Marriage or divorce
If you get married or divorced, your estate plan needs updates. Marriage and divorce affect your determination of beneficiaries. Timely updates are important to ensure the proper distribution of your assets.
2. Birth or death
Any time birth or death occurs in the family, you should evaluate your estate plan. Not only should you add any new child to your beneficiaries, but you should also update any beneficiaries if a named beneficiary predeceases you.
3. Assets or investments
When you make changes to your assets or investments, your estate plan should reflect those changes right away. You should address the dissemination of life insurance policies, investment accounts, property ownership records and valuable collections. If you add an investment fund or purchase another property, address it in your estate plan.
Every estate plan should include comprehensive details about estate administrators, beneficiaries, executors and the assets that you hold. Establish trust accounts if desired and keep the contents updated regularly. In most cases, estate plans need updates annually, or any time you have a major change financially or legally.