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When It’s Time to Review Your Estate Plans

Estate plans aren’t static documents. You don’t just write them, tuck them away in your important papers file and forget about them. Life is filled with unforeseen changes and challenges. Think of your estate plan like you would your car. Both need periodic check-ups and tune-ups. The difference is that your car manual clearly lays out when they’re needed. But what about your estate plan? Here are some events that may call for a review and revision:

  • Entering a New Relationship. For example, in many areas, marriage cancels any will prepared by either spouse prior to the union, unless the will is made in contemplation of marriage. Even if you aren’t formalizing the union with marriage vows, you may want to name a common-law partner beneficiary of your estate.
  • Changes in State and Federal Laws. Has the state you live in enacted new laws that could impact your will and finances? Have you moved to another state? It’s not just personal life changes that may affect your estate plans.
  • Major Life Events. The birth of a child or grandchild, an adoption, marriage, divorce or death all affect your will and estate.
  • Disability of a Beneficiary or Dependent. In addition to events in your own life, consider events in the lives of your heirs, representatives, trustees or executors. Have your relationships with the people named in your will changed? Their circumstances may have changed, which could also impact your estate planning and will.
  • Starting, Buying or Selling a Business. If you sell a business included in your will, you need to update it. The same goes if you are buying or starting a business.
  • Mid-Life, Peak Earning Years or Changes to Your Financial Situation. Mid-life is a good time to revisit your estate plan. Think about how your family would carry on financially if you suddenly passed away. If you’ve changed your financial position, the same goes for your estate.

Even if you haven’t experienced any major life or financial challenges, the passage of time itself can impact your estate plans. A periodic review of every 3-5 years is a good rule of thumb to follow. Call our office today. We can review your plans with you and your estate planner to ensure they are up-to-date and encompass any changes that need to be made.

Johnson Financial Advisors and its representatives do not provide tax advice; coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.

When It’s Time to Review Your Estate Plans

by Marcus F. Johnson, CFPⓇ time to read: 2 min