When considering what time to update an estate plan, it is common to get conflicting pieces of information or advice. After all, just about everyone has their own view as to the best timeline for updating or managing an estate.
However, some circumstances enjoy universal agreement when it comes to deciding what does or does not require immediate updates.
Money Crashers discusses the right times to update an estate plan. Generally speaking, the “right time” involves any instance when a person’s life changes in a notable way. The three biggest categories of change include changes to beneficiaries, changes to assets and changes to location.
Changes to beneficiaries
Changes to beneficiaries include any loss or gain of a person set to receive assets from an estate plan. This can include the death of a loved one, divorce, marriage or re-marriage, the birth or adoption of a child, or the estrangement of a relative.
Changes to assets
Changes to assets include both significant loss, gain, or the transfer of one form of asset into another. This includes matters like falling into debt and declaring bankruptcy, coming into a large inheritance, or buying or selling physical properties.
Changes to location
Changes to location involve moving to another state or even country. Each state has its own way of handling estate plans. The last thing someone wants is to spend time working on theirs only to realize at the last second that their plan does not abide by their new state’s standards and thus ends up rendered invalid.
Any of these moments of change should result in the immediate – or at least rapid – review and alteration of an estate plan.