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When do you review an estate plan?

Once your estate plan is created, how often are you supposed to review it? According to some estate planning professionals, you should review it annually or bi-annually. Though this is a common safeguard, you should also review your estate plan if you have any significant life changes that impact your estate plan's accuracy.

Marriage and Divorce

Your spouse is listed as a beneficiary and often a healthcare proxy on a lot of documents. Therefore, if you divorce your spouse, you need to remove their name and replace it with another individual. If you were single, most likely your parents, a close friend or a sibling is listed as a beneficiary and proxy, but once you get married that needs to change. Therefore, if you get married or divorced, you need to meet with your estate planning attorney immediately to have your plans updated.

Children

A lot of parents think that they can add their children at any time, but unfortunately the future is highly unpredictable. You could have a tragic accident, which will leave the courts to follow your current estate plan. If you have had a child or adopted a child between the time your estate plan was created and your death, that child will be omitted from your estate and inheritance. Therefore, if you have a child, update your estate plan immediately.

Though you should review your estate plan regularly, if you have a life-changing event you need to revisit it immediately. The future is unpredictable, which means if your estate plan has not been updated to reflect your current life, your loved ones will be left without.

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