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Without Knowing Your Options

How often should you update your estate plan?

An estate plan can help you plan for the future. With a well-written strategy, you can maintain control of your assets despite incapacitation or other serious changes in your life.

Keeping your plan updated will guarantee it continues to operate the way you intend. Significant changes in your life might require prompt and thorough modifications to your plan.

Life changes

There are numerous reasons why you might need to change your strategy. According to Bank of America, some reasons to modify your estate plan include the following:

  • You receive an inheritance
  • You give birth to or adopt another child
  • Changes to tax law
  • You divorce or remarry
  • You change your health care proxy or POA
  • You retire or develop a serious illness

Neglecting your plan after major events in your life may cause it to slowly fall apart. Without evidence of the changes you intend to make, the courts will follow the outline of your original plan. This can lead to disappointing outcomes that jeopardize the value of your assets and could result in them going to people you no longer associate with.

Periodic reviews

Even if you have not experienced any major changes, a periodic update will help you fine-tune your plan. Experts recommend this type of review every three to five years. You might consider involving your legal team in this review to provide insight into ways you can optimize your plan and improve its function.

Making changes in a timely manner can reduce the stress and confusion of trying to sort things out when it is too late. An updated estate plan can protect your money and provide comfort and clarification for your surviving family members.

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