Wondering whether you’re due for estate planning updates?
Estate planning is an important process that involves preparing for the future and ensuring that your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes. But how often must you update your estate planning to keep your affairs in order?
Let’s explore the importance of updating your estate planning and how frequently it should be done to accurately reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Whether you have already created an estate plan or are just starting the process, a Wilmington estate planning attorney at Johnson Legal can provide valuable insights into the importance of regular updates.
Estate planning is not a one-time event. It is a dynamic process that requires regular updates to accurately reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Failing to update your estate plan regularly can lead to unintended consequences, such as assets being distributed in a way that does not align with your wishes or even legal disputes between family members.
You may need to update your estate planning for several reasons.
Updating your estate planning to reflect your new status is important if you get married, divorced, or remarried. Your estate planning should be updated to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your new spouse is cared for should you pass away.
You should also update or revoke powers of attorney from your former spouse.
Your financial situation can change over time, and it is important to update your estate planning to reflect these changes. This may include changes to your income, investments, or assets. It is also important to consider changes in tax laws that may affect your estate planning.
For example, if you inherit a large sum, you may want to update your estate plan to reflect this new asset. You may want to create a trust to protect the inheritance and ensure it is distributed according to your wishes.
Family situations can change over time, and updating your estate planning to reflect these changes is crucial. This may include the birth or adoption of a child, the death of a family member, or a change in your relationship with a family member.
For example, if you have a child after you create your estate planning, you may want to update your will to include the child as a beneficiary. Similarly, if you become estranged from a family member, you may want to update your estate planning to reflect this change in your relationship.
Changes to your health can be stressful and emotional. It can be devastating to experience poor physical or mental health or a diagnosis of a new medical condition. It’s not easy to think about the future when your health declines, but it’s a necessary step to ensuring your estate plan reflects your wishes.
For example, if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you must consider estate planning updates to reflect your wishes regarding advance care planning. You may also want to appoint a healthcare power of attorney to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how often you should update your estate plan. However, it is generally recommended that you review and update your estate planning every three to five years or whenever a significant change in your life circumstances occurs.
The most important time to update your estate plan is after major life events. Doing so ensures that your estate planning remains up-to-date and accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
Updating your estate planning can be a complex process that requires the assistance of an estate planning attorney. Your lawyer can walk you through the steps to ensure your updates are done properly.
Here are some of the general steps to guide you:
Estate planning is an important process that requires regular updates to ensure that it accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
Remember, estate planning is not a one-time event. Failing to perform estate planning updates can lead to unintended consequences, but by staying on top of your estate plan and regularly updating it, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are cared for after you are gone.
For help determining whether your plan needs an update and how to navigate the process, contact us today at Johnson Legal.