A resume is a snapshot of your experience, skill set, and education that provides prospective employers insight into who you are and how you will perform. Imagine not updating your resume for five, ten, or even fifteen years. Would it accurately reflect your professional abilities? Would it do what you want it to do? Probably not. Estate plans are similar in that they need to be regularly updated to reflect changes in your life and the law so they can do what you want them to do. Outdated estate plans, like outdated resumes, simply do not work.
Take a Moment to Reflect
Think for a moment about all of the changes in your life so far. What has changed since you signed your will, trust agreement, and other estate planning documents? If something has changed that affects you, your trusted helpers, or your beneficiaries, your estate plan probably needs to reflect that change.
Below are examples of changes that are significant enough to warrant an estate plan review and likely updates:
- A new family member that you want to provide for in your estate plan (child, grandchild, etc.) was born.
- A new family member that you want to provide for was adopted.
- You, a trusted decision maker, or a beneficiary got married.
- You or a beneficiary got divorced or separated from a spouse.
- A loved one passed away.
- A loved one is now battling an addiction.
- One of your trusted decision makers is now incapacitated.
- A loved one is now disabled.
- You or a loved one is now suffering some health challenges.
- Your financial status or a beneficiary’s has changed, either for better or worse.
- Laws pertaining to tax, retirement accounts or benefits, property, or other relevant topics have changed.
- You, a trusted decision maker, or a beneficiary moved to a new state.
- Your family circumstances have changed.
- Your business circumstances have changed.
Estate planning is usually at the bottom of a person’s to-do list. After it has been completed, most people do not think about it again. Do not be like most people. Estate planning is an ongoing project that requires review and attention. There is no time like the present to review your estate plan. Contact our office now to get your estate planning review scheduled. As with most people, if it is on the calendar, you will make it happen. Just as you update your resume and meet with your doctor, dentist, CPA, or financial advisor regularly, you should meet with us regularly as well. We will ensure that your estate plan reflects your current needs and the needs of the people you love. Updating is the best way to ensure that your estate plan will do exactly what you want it to do.
This article is a service of Stafford Law Firm. We do not just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love.