If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so important to update your estate plan regularly, you aren’t alone. Estate planning attorneys are frequently asked why this particular habit is emphasized so heavily. There are a number of reasons, all of which are enough on their own to warrant making checking in on your estate plan a habit throughout your life. Taken as a whole, they make the development of this particular good habit of vital importance.
Why Should You Update Your Estate Plan Regularly?
- Laws are not static; they change. In fact, many consider the frequency with which federal estate tax laws change almost uncomfortable. State laws see change at a far less frequent rate, but they also need to be reviewed on a regular basis.
- Life is full of change. While laws are likely to see change, life is guaranteed to see changes. As circumstances in your life change, your estate plan should be adjusted to reflect the new situation: more children/grandchildren, minors turning 18 and becoming adults, changes in financial status (good or bad), etc. Life changes constantly and your estate plan must change right alongside it.
- Financial Powers of Attorney have a standard shelf life. They are typically seen as valid for anywhere from 6 months to 3 years (depending on the situation), but after that time, courts and banks may be reluctant to accept them for their intended purpose. Even if there have been no major life changes, the Financial Power of Attorney on file should be refreshed and signed regularly.
- Relocations can mean different laws. Anytime there is a move from one state to another, estate plans must be reviewed and updated because different states have different laws.
Almost more important than any of the practical reasons that make updating your estate plan regularly a good idea is the fact that when change comes, it often comes unexpectedly and sometimes, it comes like an earthquake shaking everything that’s not tied down and drawing everyone’s attention. During these times of upheaval, it is best to already have an estate plan that has been updated recently so it is there; dependable and secure. A regularly updated estate plan provides families with safety and stability during times of turmoil.
Frequent reviews and updates ensure that your estate plan keeps up with overwhelming changes and functions as you intend. Protect yourself, your spouse, your children and the rest of your loved ones during times of change and upheaval. Contact Dolen, Tucker, Tierney & Abraham, our estate planning and asset protection attorneys are well equipped with both the knowledge and the experience you want on your side.