WHEN SHOULD YOU UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN?

My clients often ask me when they should update their estate plan. There are numerous life events that may require us to look at the plan and see if anything needs to be revised. Here is a short list of such events:

  • Serious or life threatening illness
  • Illness or death of a spouse
  • Contemplation of marriage or divorce (special attention to 2nd marriages)
  • Marriage or divorce of a child or grandchild or business partner
  • Birth, death or illness of parent, sibling, child or grandchild, or business partner
  • Disability of parent, sibling, child, grandchild, or a dependent or if a dependent  may require special considerations or a special needs trust
  • Significant change in the types or values of the assets you own
  • New business venture
  • Business has grown (or declined) significantly in the last few years
  • Change in business partners
  • Within 5 years of retirement
  • Within 5 years on contemplating sale of business
  • Job loss or business litigation
  • Changes to the federal or state estate tax code (The attorney should notify you when such events affect you)