There’s no denying that an estate plan is a necessity for the future. It ensures the courts will respect your wishes and that your assets will properly go to the people you want to receive them.
But even more importantly, you need an estate plan that is up to date. If your plan is outdated at the time of your passing, your estate can face probate or cause contention between your heirs. To avoid any issues, it’s essential to schedule a time for an estate plan checkup.
What is an estate plan checkup?
Just as it sounds, an estate plan checkup is a thorough review of your estate plan. An estate plan checkup can be particularly beneficial if you created an estate plan years ago but have not updated it since.
Of course, you can have an estate plan checkup at any time. Here are a few major milestones in which you may want to consider updating your plan:
- You have moved to another state. Every state has laws on estate planning, so if you moved since you last updated your plan, you would have to update it per the laws of your new home state.
- You have gotten married or divorced. Many estate plans leave assets to a spouse. You will want to update your plan to reflect your current marital status by adding a new spouse’s name or removing an old one.
- You have bought, sold, or inherited property. Include significant assets such as real or commercial estate, such as a house or business, in your plan so that it can easily transfer to the rightful owner after your death.
- You have gained new members of your family. You might have new grandchildren or stepchildren to whom you want to leave behind assets for the future. Likewise, you may also have family members you need to remove as they have passed away.
- You want to add or change your power of attorney. You should expect a time when you may be unable to make decisions for yourself. Your power of attorney will name someone who can carry out financial or medical wishes on your behalf. If you did not have this set up previously, you should consider it now. A checkup will also allow you to name someone new in case your original power of attorney is now deceased.
Having an updated estate plan will ensure your wishes are followed when you pass. If you have not reviewed your plan recently, now is the time to do so. You may even want to consider scheduling in a regular checkup, such as every year or every three years. This will ensure that your plan will never fall too far out of date and guarantees a much more secure future.