After creating your estate plan, you cannot simply let it sit forgotten as you continue to live your life. Life is not a static thing, which means your estate plan cannot be, either.
But how do you know when it is a good time to update your plan?
Changes to assets and beneficiaries
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel discusses the important matter of keeping your estate plan up to date. Generally speaking, it is smart to update your plan immediately after any major life change.
The two major categories of life changes that facilitate immediate updates include changes to assets and changes to beneficiaries. Asset changes can involve things like falling into debt or gaining a large sum of money. Changes to beneficiaries can include marriages, deaths, divorces, the birth or adoption of children, or the estrangement of relatives.
Moving to another state
You should also update your plan if you move to a different state. Every state has its own set of laws that govern how they handle estate planning. You want to make sure that your estate plan still holds its validity even under the laws of your new home.
Going through regular reviews
But what if nothing major has changed in your life recently? What if nothing major changes in years? You should still review your plan every three to five years in general. This not only lets you refresh your memory on its contents, but it also gives you a chance to catch any areas that you forgot to change earlier or that you want to change now.