How, Why, and When: On Revising an Estate Plan

There are several common myths about estate planning. One of these myths is that people who have small estates do not need estate plans. In reality, everyone has an estate. This means that even if you do not believe so or if you only have a small number of possession, it is important to remember that in the eyes of the law you still have an estate. As a result, if you do not have an estate plan, it is always a good time to create one.


A second common myth about estate planning is that it is a once and done process. Instead, a person should always make sure to periodically check an estate plan after it is created. This article explores some of the important facts that people interested in estate planning should know about making revisions to their estate planning documents.


Situations that Warrant Updating an Estate Plan


While there are a number of reasons why almost everyone should create an estate plan, it can be much more difficult to determine when to review an estate plan when you already have one written.


There are a number of events that can make it necessary to update an estate plan. Some of the most common life events that warrant revising an estate plan include adoption, beginning a new job, birth, children passing the age of eighteen, the death of a spouse, divorce, the expiration of life insurance policies, marriage, medical issues, purchasing a business or home, relocation, and retirement.


This does not mean that a person whose life remains relatively the same should not consider updating their estate plan. Instead, even if a person does not experience any of these changes, it is still a wise idea to make sure that an estate plan is properly updated every five years.


Questions to Ask when Revising an Estate Plan


It is critical to ask yourself a number of important questions when reviewing an estate plan. Some of the most valuable questions to ask include:


  • Whether an advance directive is easy to find
  • Whether anything has changed in your life that would require additional insurance
  • Whether it is a good time to renew a life insurance policy
  • Whether the people you have appointed to perform duties are still able to do so
  • Whether you are still happy with how assets in the estate plan will be divided
  • Whether your family knows where each of your estate planning documents are located, and
  • Whether you have shared digital content passwords with your family or loved ones

Speak with an Estate Planning Lawyer


Among the many complex issues involved with estate planning, one of the most common questions is when should you perform estate planning. As discussed in this article, no time is like the present if an estate plan needs any type of revision.

If you have decided that now is the right time to engage in estate planning, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free consultation.

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