A Port St. Lucie, Florida estate planning attorney at Kulas Law Group discusses several reasons why you should review your estate plan on a regular basis.
More than 5 Years Have Passed Since Your Last Review
The time frame between routine reviews is not set in stone; however, most estate planning attorney suggest routine reviews every three to five years until your children have all reached the age of majority. If you do not have children, a review every three to five years until about age 50 is a good rule of thumb. After your children are grown and/or you reach age 50, plan a review every five to eight years until you are comfortably into your retirement years. At that point, a review every eight to 10 years should be enough unless a life event precipitates a review sooner.
You Got Married or Divorced
When you marry, you will likely want to include your new spouse in your estate plan. That may include changing the beneficiary designations on things such as your Will, retirement plans, and life insurance policies as well as changing fiduciary positions within your plan. Conversely, failing to update your plan after your divorce could result in an ex-spouse remaining the beneficiary of your estate assets or making medical decisions for you during a period of incapacity.
Your Children Have All Reached the Age of Majority
As the parent of minor children, you had to protect your children’s inheritance because they could not inherit directly from your estate; however, once all your children are legal adults, you have the option to gift directly to them. At some point, you will probably want to restructure your estate plan to pass on assets directly instead of leaving them with a Trustee to manage for your children.
You Retired or Relocated
When you retire, you may start withdrawing funds from retirement accounts and selling major assets which should warrant a review of your plan. In addition, if you have not yet considered the addition of a Medicaid planning component to your estate plan, you will want to do so to ensure that you qualify if you need to down the road. If your retirement also includes relocating, you need to update your estate plan to ensure that it complies with the laws of your new state or country of residence.
There Has Been a Significant Change in Your Assets
A well drafted estate plan should be able to account for minor changes in your assets; however, if you buy or sell a business, or other valuable assets, you may need to review and revise your estate plan to reflect the changes in your financial portfolio.
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