By Allen Starrett, Managing Attorney at Starrett Law Firm
As my clients often hear me say, estate planning is an ongoing process. Think journey, not destination. Personal and financial circumstances change. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate your will, trust, health care power of attorney, and other estate plan documents periodically in light of all such changes and make revisions when appropriate. In other words, plan, review, and update.
While a comprehensive estate plan review every two or three years sounds sufficient, I recommend an annual review for greatest protection and peace of mind. A good time to kick the tires, so to speak, of your will and other estate plan documents is at the very beginning or very end of the year as you conduct other tax, insurance, or financial planning.
Three critical questions to ask yourself to help determine if your estate plan is still reasonably up-to-date are:
1. What family or personal changes have occurred recently?
2. What financial changes have occurred recently?
3. Have I changed my mind or wishes?
Additionally, below is a partial list of events that likely signal an estate plan update is in order:
– Marriage, divorce, or separation
– Birth or adoption
– Death, disability, or serious illness
– Retirement or unemployment
– Increase or decrease in asset values
– Acquisition of real estate in another state
– Change in business interests
– Move to another state
– Changes in state and federal laws
Estate planning is an ongoing process and not a one-time event. Resist a “set it and forget it” mentality. Review your estate plan annually and make revisions to accommodate changes in personal and financial circumstances.
If you have questions concerning this blog post, feel free to contact Allen at (704) 887-4944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
13850 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28277
Disclaimer: Our firm published this article for general guidance and educational purposes only. Contact a licensed attorney in your state for specific legal advice.