Your estate plan is the key to what is going to happen to you and your assets. It includes some end-of-life plans, such as the advanced directive, and your will and trusts. Many people think that once they create the plan, they won’t have to do anything else with it. That misconception can prove costly in the future.
It’s a good idea to periodically review your estate plan to ensure that it still reflects your most current wishes. You can do this every year or two. You also need to check it if you have some major life changes.
Amassing or selling assets is one of the times you need to do an update. Assets that aren’t named in the will or trusts might be a source of contention for your heirs. Having assets named in the estate plan that you don’t own any longer means that the estate has to purchase them to distribute, which can be costly.
A review is needed if you get married, divorced or have a change in family composition. This is necessary if you have a child or if one of your kids turns 18 years old. The birth of grandchildren might also trigger the need for a review.
You also need to check the plan if you have someone named in it who you don’t want in it any longer or if someone named passes away. Most commonly, people will update the power of attorney designations.
If you make big changes to your estate plan, you may need to discuss them with your loved ones. Knowing what it includes ahead of time may make it easier for them to handle matters when you pass away.