Creating your estate plan is just one step in a life-long process. After its creation, you must then maintain it, ensuring that it reflects your current life situation and wishes instead of conveying outdated desires and plans.
But how do you know when to update your plan? Is there a timeframe you should follow when it comes to reviews or is it all up to you?
When should you review it?
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel discusses when a good time to update your estate plan may be. First, no laws dictate when you should look over your estate plan when you should update it, or the manner in which you should go about this. However, many people in the legal field agree that you should at least look over your estate plan once every three to five years. This lets you ensure you remember the details clearly, and that nothing needs changing that you may have forgotten.
Times of upheaval and change
That aside, a good rule of thumb is to update your estate plan when necessary, and review it whenever you reach times of upheaval or change in your life. “When necessary” differs from situation to situation, but may involve things like major changes to your family unit such as the death of a spouse, or substantial financial loss or gain such as filing for bankruptcy.
Smaller familial structures or financial changes count as times of upheaval, too. Moving to another state may also fall into this category, as you must then ensure your estate plan follows the laws of your new home. You can also discuss with legal aid to see what they think a good plan of review is for you.