Estate planning is rarely fun. It’s time-consuming, confusing, and costly. It’s no small wonder that over half of the people in the US don’t even have a basic estate plan. If you’re one of the 50% who DO have an estate plan, do you review it each year?
Estate planning basics call for regular reviews of your plan.
Life is constantly changing. Important events (good and bad) happen all the time, circumstances change, and predicaments arise. Without a review, there’s no way of ensuring your plan remains relevant and functional.
Need some tips on how and when to keep it up to date?
Keep reading for 5 considerations for reviewing your estate plan.
1. Your Family
Family is one area of life that’s in constant transition.
All manner of changes impact your estate. A family member listed as executor or beneficiary may die. You may get married, divorced, re-married, and have children, and/or grandchildren.
Each of these has an impact on your estate. A change to the family is a clear sign you need to review things. You might want to include new beneficiaries and get rid of the old ones. Think about family changes and update your plan accordingly.
2. Your Health
Time and aging are harbingers of health issues. We can all expect it at some point! For example, you or your loved ones (some of whom may be written into your estate plan) may develop a chronic illness.
Any health changes constitute a reason to reassess the plan. Think about the potential care needs involved. Provide instructions in the plan. Likewise, if you’re no longer of sound mind you need the right people in place to enact the medical-care directives.
3. Your Location
Moving house is always a hassle.
In terms of your estate plan, changing the state you live in can be a huge hassle. New state equals new laws. Your plan must be updated to reflect them. Even if you’ve simply acquired a property in a new state, there may be implications to consider.
Be sure to keep things up to speed when you move location. Not doing so is a recipe for disaster.
4. Your Assets and/or Liabilities
Of course, the value of your estate is in flux too.
It may increase or decrease at any given time. Significant increases or decreases should prompt a review of your plan. After all, the financial situation has now entirely shifted. The current divisions of your estate may no longer make sense.
5. Your Executors or Trustees
Finally, the people you entrust to implement the plan may require review.
They might die, become incapacitated, or simply no longer be around, or part of your life. Is it realistic to expect them to do a good job of implementing your wishes? Possible not.
Have a think about those in charge and update accordingly.
Estate Planning Basics: Review Considerations
There you have it: 5 things to think about when reviewing your estate plan.
Reviews are an essential part of estate planning basics.
They’re of vital importance. After all, life happens! We’re in a constant state of flux, and circumstances change. Without a review, your estate plan may fail to account for such shifts in predicaments.
Hopefully, this post will help you stay on top of the key components to review.
Want some help with your estate planning in Hawaii? Contact us today to see how we can be of assistance.