Whether you like to prepare in advance or wait until the last minute to handle your affairs, you might find yourself wondering when the time is right for you to create your estate plans. Or perhaps you already have and are not sure if it is time to review and update them. Estate planning can provide immense peace of mind to you and your family. It allows you to control what happens at the end of your life. However, the timing and strength of those plans hinge on the events that occur in your life.
Is there a right time to create or review your estate plans? Yes, the time is whenever you experience changes in your life that may impact your affairs, assets and final wishes.
Events that require estate plan modifications
Certain life events that involve the addition or loss of family members should warrant a review of estate plans. Death is uncertain and sometimes it happens to loved ones who are younger or in better health than the testator. The following events should trigger an estate plan audit.
- Birth or death
- Marriage, divorce or remarriage
- Gain or lose income/employment
- Serious illness or accident
- Evaluating current circumstances
- Starting or dissolving a business
- Purchasing or selling property
A good estate plan is an accurate reflection of the testator’s assets and final wishes as of the most current date of revision. It includes contingencies for their most recent and major life events.
Bear in mind that change is inevitable. Estate plans are critical to prevent disputes and issues that could lead to entanglement with probate court. They also help to ensure that your last days are peaceful and your end-of-life affairs are taken care of with your wishes intact.