After your estate plan documents are finalized and secured away, you might not think about checking them until it’s necessary. However, there are several events that should prompt you to review and update your estate plan. Marriage, divorce, birth and death are just a few instances which should encourage you to change your plan.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you review your estate plan every five or so years, to ensure it’s up to date and still effective.
What To Check When Reviewing Your Estate Plan
What exactly does “reviewing your estate plan” mean? There are a variety of elements in your plan you should check and update if necessary, including:
- Power of attorney and health care proxy – make sure the people you’ve selected are still able to make reliable decisions and update if necessary.
- Your will – Confirm the executor of your estate and ensure they can still carry out the duties necessary.
- Trusts – Identify your beneficiaries and assets and confirm these are both still valid.
- Tax opportunities – tax laws and regulations can change as the years go by. You may need to verify your estate plan still honors all tax laws and takes advantage of any new opportunities.
Regularly reviewing your estate plan can ensure it is as efficient and effective as possible. You want to make sure it aligns with your wishes at every stage of your life and secures your legacy for your loved ones.
What Else Should I Do?
After reviewing your plan, you may want to make certain improvements or adjustments. Charitable giving, life insurance and trust planning can help enhance your estate plan, if not already included in your documents.
Your estate plan can dictate your future and your loved ones’ futures, so you want to ensure it is secure and protected. Your estate plan is unique to you and your family and can help remove complexity for your loved ones. It is worth regularly reviewing to ensure effectiveness and security.