When you first work on an estate plan, you may not realize one important factor: your maintenance will last longer than the creation of the plan itself. After the initial creation of the plan, you will have to continually maintain it throughout your life.
But when should you do your reviews? Are there guidelines to follow? How do you know when the time is right, and will the time difference for your unique situation compared to anyone else’s?
Reviewing every three years
Forbes discusses many aspects of estate plan review, including when and how to do it. First of all, you do not need to do a thorough, full review of your estate plan every single time you want to check things. In fact, experts often suggest against that because they would like to see you review your plan every 3 years and this is less likely to happen if you think you need to review pages upon pages of work.
What to focus on
Instead, focus on the aspects of your life that are most likely to change over time. For example, you should review your estate plan when you go through a change in your family organization. This can include disowning a relative, marrying or remarrying, divorcing a spouse, adopting or giving birth to a child, or losing a relative through death. These matters will affect your beneficiaries, i.e. the people who have something to gain from your estate after your death.
Likewise, you should review when you face changes to your finances, assets, or any time you move to a new location – particularly out of state. Knowing when to review and what to focus on may pose a confusing hurdle at first, though, so you might benefit from the guidance of legal aid at this time.