If you own a home, you know the importance in changing furnace filters,
cleaning the carpets, cleaning the chimney, clearing out the rain gutters
and mowing the lawn during the spring and summer. In order for your home
to remain in tip-top shape, you have to maintain it.
If you own a car, it’s the same thing. You have to get regular oil
changes, replace the tires after a certain number of miles, and get it
serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This way,
your car will be reliable and it will perform well.
Even you have to be maintained. You need food for proper fuel, shelter
to protect you from the elements, exercise to stay lean and strong, and
adequate rest so you can recharge your batteries. If you don’t take
proper care of yourself, your body is sure to let you down.
Like your home, your car, and your own body, your
estate plan needs to be “serviced” periodically. Look at your estate plan
as a snapshot in time. It paints a picture of you, your family, and your
assets at the time you create it. Since all of these things change over
time, you should update your plan accordingly.
If you created a will in the first year of marriage and now you have three
children, or now you’re divorced and remarried, or now you’re
enjoying your Golden Years with more (and more) grandchildren, you can’t
expect the original plan to be as effective as it was 10 or 15 years ago.
Estate planning is not a one-time event; throughout your lifetime, it
will need to be revised, tweaked and updated. Sometimes, it might even
need to be replaced.
When is it Time to Make Updates?
How do you know when it’s time to update your estate plan? Instead
of thinking in terms of years; for example, think in terms of
events. Generally, if there is a significant change in your health, family, or
financial situation, or if the laws change, you may need to make changes
to your existing estate plan.
When you may need to change your estate plan:
- You get married
- You separate from your spouse
- You get a divorce
- Your spouse passes away
- Birth of a child
- You adopt a child
- A family member dies
- Your relationship with an adult child sours
- The value of your assets change significantly
- A guardian, executor, or successor trustee changes their mind, becomes
ill, or dies
- You change your mind about a beneficiary
- You buy real estate out of state
- One of your parents becomes dependent on you
Has it been some time since you updated your estate plan? Or, has there
been significant changes in your personal or financial situation? If you
feel an estate plan update is in order, I encourage you to
contact me today to schedule your