Knowing when to update an estate plan can be as crucial as developing an estate plan to begin with. This blog recently discussed what should be included in an estate plan but it is also valuable to have information concerning when an estate plan should be updated.

To begin with, whenever the estate planner makes a major move to another state they should revisit their estate plan. This is because estate planning laws can vary by state and the estate planner will want to ensure their estate plan is valid in their new state and meets that state’s legal requirements. It is also a good idea to consider updating an estate plan if the estate planner has had any major relationships changes such as a birth, death or marriage. It is important that their estate plan accounts for these changes.

Because the estate planner’s estate plan deals with the disposition of their property and assets, it is also a good idea for estate planners to update their estate plan if their property, assets and liabilities change. Estate planners should also ensure their beneficiary designations are up-to-date including for their retirement plan, life insurance and some other types of plans the estate planner may have. The beneficiary designation is controlling so estate planners need to make sure they are current. Additionally, if an executor, trustee or guardian included in the estate plan is no longer appropriate, the estate planner should act promptly to make those updates.

Estate planning is a fairly straightforward process that helps estate planners ensure their wishes for their property and assets, and how they should be distributed, are honored and that their family and loved ones are cared for after they are gone. Because of how important estate planning is, estate planners need to know when to update their estate plan and make sure they keep it current.