Do not assume that the estate plan you made five years ago — or even the one you just made today — is going to stand the test of time. Life changes. Things happen. The future is not always what you expected it to be. When facing significant changes, you absolutely want to update your estate plan so that it accurately reflects what your life looks like now.
Examples of life events that may make it necessary to update your plan include:
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Having a loved one or an heir pass away
- Having a new baby
- Starting a new job or a new career
- Starting a new company
- Acquiring any significant property, such as a new home
- Starting new investment portfolios
There is also the fact that someone else’s estate planning can impact yours. For instance, maybe you initially made your plan while your parents were alive. Then they passed away and left you $1,000,000. Their estate plan helped to provide for your future and your retirement.
Don’t stop there. Your overall wealth has now significantly changed. If you passed away tomorrow, you would want your parents’ money to go to your own kids. That’s what they would want and it’s the best way you can honor their legacy. You need to update your own plan to make sure that it happens in a fashion you approve of.
This is just one example; everyone’s situation is different. But it does help to show you how life events can have a drastic impact on your estate plan and why it pays to consider all of your options when drafting or updating that plan.