Life changes often happen unexpectedly. Even if you can plan for some of them, it is always important to conduct an assessment of important life matters periodically. This is especially true if you have already created your estate plan. You may want to address certain life changes in your plan.
Even if you cannot think of a major event that warrants an update to your plan, it is still wise to review your information around every three to five years. In some cases, you may have simply changed your mind about a particular detail, and you may have even forgotten some information you included.
Events that trigger updates
In some cases, it can be beneficial to update an estate plan before the three-year mark. For example, if you experience any of the following events, updating your plan may prove wise:
- Getting married or divorced
- Welcoming a child or grandchild into the family
- Your spouse falling seriously ill or developing a disability
- Making a significant purchase, such as a home
- A loved one passing away
- Changing careers or getting a promotion
- Experiencing any major financial change
- Accruing a considerable amount of debt
- Changing your mind about who you want to act as executor, trustee or guardian
Making these updates as soon as possible is often smart because any outdated information left in your plan could cause trouble for your loved ones after your passing. The most up-to-date information could better ensure that your family can settle your estate as quickly as possible.
Making modifications to a plan may be easier than when you first started your plan from scratch. Now, if you have something you want to change, it may only take the alteration of a few details rather than coming up with an entirely new plan. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that one change could trigger other necessary changes, so it is prudent to work with someone who can watch out for conflicting information should any arise due to modifications.
A Georgia estate planning attorney could help you ensure that your plan stays up to date. If you have any questions about whether a life event could present the need for a change, or if you simply want to make changes due to a change of mind, your legal counsel could guide you through that process.