If you already have a comprehensive estate plan in place you are ahead of the majority of the people in the United States with regard to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your assets; however, you cannot “rest on your laurels” if you want to be certain everyone and everything is protected. In fact, your estate plan can actually cause more problems than it solves if you fail to review and revise your plan on a regular basis and when intervening events prompt the need for an update. So how do you know when your estate plan needs to be reviewed? Consider the following top five reasons to review ad revise your estate plan:
- You have not done so in over three to eight years. There is no hard and fast rule about how often you should review your estate plan in the regular course of events; however, a good rule of thumb is every three to five years while you are still in your working years and five to eight years during your “Golden Years.”
- There has been a marriage or divorce in the family or among beneficiaries. Both marriage and divorce can have a significant impact on an estate plan. Your own marriage or divorce will likely prompt you to review your plan; however, people often forget that the marriage or divorce of a beneficiary is also cause for an estate plan update.
- There has been a birth or death. As with marriage and divorce, you may think to review your plan when there is birth or death among beneficiaries; however, the death of a Trustee, Executor, Guardian, or anyone else who holds and appointed position within your plan is also cause for a review.
- There has been a change in the law or in your state of residence. State laws govern many estate issues. Therefore, if your state of residence changes, or there is a change is state or federal law that impacts your plan, you need to update the plan accordingly.
- Your assets have significantly changed. A well drafted estate plan will account for changes in your assets up to a point; however, if you experience a significant change in your asset portfolio, such as winning the lottery or inheriting a substantial amount of money, you need to review and revise your estate plan.
If you need to review and revise your estate plan, or create a new one, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.