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When and How Often Should You Update Your Estate Plan?

by Caldwell Trust

Planning your estate helps you take care of the people who depend on you when you pass on. It allows you to manage your assets and divide them among your dependents as you wish. Estate planning deals mainly with preparing a valid Will and updating it as you add to your assets. An experienced estate planner will tell you that the will should be drafted using very flexible language.

This gives you the chance and power to update it as you grow your assets. However, some situations will require you to alter your estate plan.

5 Moments in Life to Update Your Estate Plan

1. When You Are Having Children

When you have a child(ren), you will need to name a guardian for your child when you become incapacitated or pass on. Additionally, you might wish to bequeath some assets to your children after they become adults, or they may be named after your spouse as secondary beneficiaries.

2. Divorce or Change in Relationship Status

If you are about to file for divorce, you should think about updating your estate plan by removing your spouse from it.

3. Life Changes for Your Personal Representatives

If you have appointed an executor to your estate in your plan and the person moves to a different state or experiences a life-altering event that limits their role as a personal representative, you can replace them by updating your Will. 

You can even choose to prepare a revocable trust to protect your loved ones from the probate process, whereby the executors you have named will manage your estate from a distance.

4. Death of a Spouse or Other Dependent

If a person who has been bequeathed property in an estate plan passes away before the estate plan is enforced, you can remove them and bequeath that property to someone else. This will protect your loved ones from the probate process experienced when the plan does not cover the surplus property.

5. Marriage of a Child or Family Change

As a parent, you may want to secure your child's future when you die by providing conditional trusts. For example, you can include post-nuptial requirements before your child receives their inheritance.

6. Increased or Gained Assets

If you inherit or get a huge payoff, you should update your estate plan to reflect the same. You could opt to leave some of your wealth to charities or gift your loved ones. 

Hire a Professional to Manage Your Estate

You do not have to constantly think about trying to manage your assets and update your estate plan. You can relax and spend time with your family as someone else does this work for you. A financial advisor will advise you on when to update your estate and how to do it. They will advise you on the best personalized plans that will help meet the needs of your loved ones upon death.

The advisor will organize your assets and help you make sound decisions that will not affect your loved ones in the long run. The personalized plans will help you protect and grow your wealth before transferring it to your loved ones. 

We at Caldwell Trust can provide personal, traditional, and independent trust services. For more information on how you can update your estate plan and organize your assets effectively, reach out to us on our website. 

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Trusts & Estate Planning