If you have created a comprehensive estate plan, you are probably doing better than most of your front-range neighbors. After all, according to a recent study, as many as 60% of Americans do not have even a basic will to deal with their estates after death.
While planning your estate is a major step, you should not put your plan in a drawer and forget about it. Rather, you should regularly review your planning documents to ensure they continue to reflect your genuine wishes. Here are three times revisiting your estate plan usually makes sense.
1. Someone you love has become ill
If you wrote your estate plan when everyone in your family was healthy, it may not cover long-term care planning for your close relatives. Put simply, leaving assets in the future to someone who can use help now may not make much sense.
Therefore, if someone in your family may benefit from a special needs trust or another long-term care plan, your estate plan may need an update.
2. Your family makeup has changed
Marriages, divorces, births and deaths change the makeup of families all the time. If your estate plan does not include everyone you want it to include, it is probably not meeting your needs. Likewise, if someone is no longer in your life, you may not want your plan to leave your assets to him or her.
3. Some time has passed
With work, family and other obligations, you may feel busier than ever. Nevertheless, if some time has passed since you drafted your estate plan, you may not remember what it contains. Even worse, you may think your plan says something it does not.
Ultimately, to ensure your estate plan comports with your wishes, you should schedule a review every year or two.