An estate plan helps people instruct how their assets are distributed after they pass away. Anybody can make their estate plans once they become a legal adult. Many testators make their estate plans as early as possible.
An estate plan that’s made early is often forgotten. While estate plans don’t expire, they can become outdated. In other words, an old estate plan may not include aspects that would otherwise be included later in life, such as new investments. Many people update their estate plans every two or three years to include new assets.
While it’s good to regularly update estate plans, there may be times when an estate plan needs updating sooner than many testators realize.
When should you revise your estate plans?
Knowing if you need to update your estate plans early can be a difficult decision. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
- Marriage: A testator may consider including their spouse as an heir. A spouse could also be named as a representative for important roles in an estate plan, such as power of attorney.
- Divorce: A revised estate plan may need to be considered after a divorce that clarifies any inclusion of a spouse should be removed.
- Childbirth: Many parents name child guardians after childbirth. Parents could even set up trusts that help children further their education or career when they’re older.
- Death of an heir: When a beneficiary passes away, it can leave questions as to how their inheritance should be handled. A revised estate plan could clarify this matter.
Estate planning is a complex legal matter. It helps to reach out for legal help to understand how and why an estate plan should be revised.