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How often do you need to update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2020 | Estate Planning

While many people review their plans every few years, others neglect to touch theirs after creating them. Yours might be mostly sound. But it may need revisions to reflect your current circumstances and wishes. By taking time to review it, you can make sure your assets will end up in the right hands.

Routine updates

Updating your estate plan for every minor change in your life is unnecessary. Yet, your relationships with your executor and beneficiaries may change. And you may find you have different wishes for your assets than when you created your plan. By reviewing it every three to five years, you can account for these changes and keep your plan fresh.

Major updates

After experiencing a major life event, you will want to update your estate plan soon thereafter. Making revisions right away will protect your assets and intentions in case something happens to you. Failing to do so may cause your estate to disburse in a manner at odds with these changes.

You will want to update your plan if:

  • Your estate gains or loses significant value
  • You purchase a major asset that will be part of your estate
  • You sell or dispose of a major asset that was part of your estate
  • You marry, divorce or remarry
  • You become a parent or grandparent
  • Your executor or a named beneficiary passes away
  • Your beneficiaries experience changes in personal circumstances
  • You move states

Beyond personal events, you will want to update your estate plan when changes happen in state and federal tax laws. Doing so is especially crucial if an increase in estate tax exemption limits affects you. By neglecting to account for it, you may accidentally disinherit beneficiaries.

By knowing when to update your estate plan, you can work to prevent confusion and challenges to it down the road. A Maryland estate planning attorney can help you make sure your plan reflects your intentions.