After creating an estate plan, many people mistakenly believe that this is where the process ends. However, that is far from the truth.
In reality, an estate plan is an ongoing project that requires constant monitoring and updates. But how does a person know when it is time to make those updates?
Forbes takes a look at some estate planning basics. The first thing people need to keep in mind is that they should conduct regular reviews of their plan to ensure that it still fits their goals and life.
Opinions about timing regarding reviews differ depending on who a person asks. However, the general consensus is that someone should review their estate plan in full once every three to five years.
This allows for a person to re-familiarize themselves with their own wording, wishes and wants, and make any changes that they may have forgotten about in the time that passed.
Reviews during times of change
Of course, it is also important to make changes to an estate plan when changes happen in real life. The most important areas of change to focus on include beneficiaries, assets and location.
Changes to beneficiaries can include things like childbirth, adoption, death, divorce, estrangement and more. Changes to assets also include losses or gains, such as a person falling into debt or coming into an inheritance.
Finally, regarding location, each state has its own laws regarding estate planning. If a person moves to another state, they should review that state’s laws on estate plans to ensure that theirs counts as legal in the eyes of the state’s law.