When to update an estate plan
Connecticut readers know that it's important to establish an estate plan. However, having a plan isn't enough. It will need to be occasionally reviewed and updated to make sure it still meets an individual's needs.
According to legal experts, any estate plan that is three or more years old should be reviewed. A plan should be also updated whenever there is a change in tax law or other laws that could impact an estate, including laws on advance medical directives or powers of attorney. There are also certain life events or changes in circumstances that could cause an estate plan to need revision.
For example, a move to another state could trigger several necessary changes. Each state has different estate planning laws, from the number of witnesses required for a will to the minimum share of an estate a spouse must inherit. As a result, an estate plan must be carefully reviewed whenever someone moves their address across state lines. Changes within the family may also create a need to update. Marriages, divorces, deaths, births or even family rifts may mean that beneficiaries need to be added or removed from estate plan documents. Meanwhile, retirement plan changes or changes in someone's assets or liabilities could require revisions.
Finally, estate documents may need to be updated if an executor or trustee becomes inappropriate. For instance, age or changes in life circumstances or location could make it difficult or impossible for an appointed executor or trustee to perform his or her duties. In such situations, a new person should be appointed.
Individuals who need to change existing wills, trusts or other estate planning documents may wish to contact an attorney for assistance. The attorney may carefully review the documents and recommend changes based on the client's current circumstances.