Figuring out what to do with your estate plan can often be difficult. There are many different options to sort through. When people finally have everything in their plans how they want, they sometimes forget about their estate plans and never change them. That can be a big mistake.
Estates plans are like a snapshot of your life at a particular point in time. An old photograph shows how you looked at the time it was taken. An old estate plan shows how your property and life circumstances looked at the time it was made. However, just as the way you look changes so does your property and life circumstances.
If you never change your estate plan, it might stop doing what you want. As Forbes points out, in an article titled “Why You Should Update Your Estate Plan,” if you do not update your estate plan when your life circumstances change, then you might be risking costly legal battles for your heirs. Significant property acquisitions that are not accounted for in your estate plan can lead to problems. Having additional children or getting divorced can cause problems, if you do not change your estate plan. Tax law changes could make your old estate plan ineffectual.
You should plan to update your estate plan every time your life changes significantly. If you get married, change your plan. If you start a new business, change your plan. Any significant life event that has occurred since you first created your estate plan may trigger a needed change or two in your estate plan. You should also plan on meeting with your estate planning attorney every few years to make sure that your plan takes into account any changes to tax laws. If you do not, your plan might not do what you think it should do.
Reference:Forbes (July 3, 2014) “Why You Should Update Your Estate Plan”