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What life events warrant updates to your estate plan?

After you completed your estate plan, you may have felt a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Making a plan for your end-of-life wishes can have its difficulties as you must make many decisions. Many people often choose to forgo the process because of the challenges it could present, so the fact that you finished your plan certainly acts as a sign of success.

Of course, even though you may have put the finishing touches on your plan for the time being, it may not prove wise to never review your documents again. Many factors could impact your estate plan, and therefore, periodically reviewing and updating your plan could save you and your family from facing complications in the future.

Time frame for reviews

Generally, the standard suggestion time for reviewing your estate plan is every three to five years. Many changes in your life and your mindset could take place during this time frame, and reviewing your documents could allow you to make sure that you still feel comfortable with the decisions you made years ago.

Life events that warrant updates

Though taking the time every few years to review may allow you to refresh your memory and make any changes you see fit, some life events may present the need for you to review and update your plans sooner. Some of those events include:

  • Welcoming a new child or grandchild to the family
  • Age changes of your children or grandchildren
  • Deaths of beneficiaries
  • Changes in details regarding guardianship appointments
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Obtaining large assets
  • Starting or closing a business
  • Significant financial changes

These events represent only a few that could warrant an update to your estate plan. You will certainly want to include any new children or grandchildren in your plans if your desire them to receive an inheritance, and if a beneficiary dies, removing his or her name could prevent complications when it comes time to distribute your assets. Of course, the specific details of your estate and your wishes could also impact when you choose to update your plan.

Making changes

If you feel that you need to make changes to your estate plan, you may want to ensure that any modifications you make are legally binding. Therefore, you may wish to consult with your Texas legal counsel when it comes time to review and update your plans.