Making an estate plan is just the first step. It is also important to keep an eye on that plan and update it periodically.
Some people do this on a set schedule, such as checking over it every year, while others do it when life events dictate that it’s time to do so. Either tactic can be fine, as long as you make sure that you don’t forget about your plan. Failing to update that plan can cause some serious problems.
Your assets may go to the wrong people
First and foremost, an outdated estate plan may leave assets to people you no longer want to leave them to. Maybe you’ve decided to disinherit one of your heirs, or maybe you’ve gotten divorced and you don’t want to leave assets to your ex. Your estate plan needs to be updated so that it reflects what you currently want.
Your assets may have changed significantly
Another issue is that things are not static and your assets could be different than they used to be. Maybe you bought a new house or sold a business. Maybe you won the lottery or got an inheritance from your parents. Maybe you ran into a lot of debt and had to get rid of assets that you previously held. There are almost endless examples, but they all show that you need to update your plan any time there’s a serious change.
How can you make sure that you’re prepared?
To make sure that you and your family are prepared, start by making an estate plan, but then take the time to consider all of the legal options you have to update that plan and make sure it is always current.