Knowing when to update an estate plan is important to avoid estate planning errors and problems. Updating an estate plan as life changes is as important as ensuring the estate planner has all the components that an effective estate plan should have in place. As a result, estate planners should be aware of when to update their estate plan and how New York estate planning can help.
As a good rule of thumb, if an estate plan is greater than three years old, the estate planner should review it, update it and ensure it reflects the estate planner’s current wishes. In addition, if the estate planner moves to another state, it is important to update an estate plan when they relocate. Estate planning rules, such as those for a will to be valid, can vary by state, so it is essential for estate planners to update their estate plan if they move to another state and ensure it is valid in their new state.
Another important time to update an estate plan is if the relationships in the estate planner’s life change. Major life changes such as marriage, divorce or the birth of the child, among others, are important times to update an estate plan. Estate plans should also be updated if it is necessary to make an executor or trustee change, if a retirement beneficiary designation needs to be changed or if the assets and liabilities of the estate planner change.
An estate plan reflects the wishes and desires of the estate planner for how their estate should be distributed and how they want their family and loved ones to be cared for. Because of the importance of an estate plan to provide peace of mind to estate planners and their families, it is beneficial for the estate plan to be comprehensive and to updated regularly to ensure it meets the needs of the estate planner and accomplishes their goals for their estate and its distribution.