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Why is it prudent to review your estate plan from time-to-time?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2019 | Estate Planning |

Some people in Parsippany have executed a comprehensive estate plan, including a will, trust, living will, and power of attorney. However, it is a mistake to simply file that estate plan away allowing it to collect dust as the years pass on. In fact, there are several reasons why a person will want to update their estate plan.

First, state law varies on what is required to execute a will and who will inherit. There may be other specific details determined by state law as well. If a person has moved to a new state since executing their estate plan, they will want to make sure their estate plan complies with their new state’s laws so that their wishes for asset distribution can be fully protected.

Second, as time marches on a person’s relationships with loved ones may change. For example, a new child or grandchild may be born, a person may remarry, or an individual might divorce their spouse. It is important to review one’s estate plan in the event that any of these situations arise. This review includes assessing beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. After all, a person might want to leave assets to a new child, grandchild, or spouse, and most people certainly do not want to leave their assets to their ex-spouse.

Third, the assets in a person’s estate may change. For example, they may have sold a house or car that was initially earmarked as an asset in their will or trust. After all, you can’t give away what you don’t have. But an individual may also acquire new assets that may passed down in an unexpected fashion if not addressed in an estate plan

As this discussion shows, estate planning is a not a one-and-done venture. Instead, estate planning is an ongoing process, so it behooves an individual to review their estate plan every few years, especially if they undergo a major life change. Life is ever-changing and a person’s estate plan should reflect this to ensure their wishes are met.