A lot of people feel a sense of relief when they create their estate plan, and for good reason. Creating a detailed estate plan means that you have legal vehicles in place to direct the distribution of your assets as you see fit. But, while you should feel good about your accomplishment of completing such an undertaking, you shouldn’t sleep on your estate plan. After all, there can be a number of life changes that may warrant modifying your estate plan.
The dangers of failing to modify
Those who fail to periodically update and modify their estate plan as needed can leave their estate susceptible to unwanted outcomes. An individual who you didn’t want to inherit may end up with a large portion of your estate, or your plan may no longer be viable, which can lead to familial infighting. This, in turn, can be costly to your estate and ruinous to your family members’ relationships with one another.
When to revisit your estate plan
The question then becomes when you should modify your estate plan. Here are a few instances when you may want to consider making changes:
- Your own divorce
- The divorce of a loved one
- The death of a loved one
- The birth of a child or grandchild
- The acquisition of additional assets or a large asset
- Changes to your familial relationships
- A shift in values
These are just a few events that can serve as a catalyst to estate plan modification. So, if you feel like change is warranted, then don’t hesitate to pull out your estate planning documents to discuss them with your attorney. This may be the only way to ensure that your estate plan suits your needs and remains legally valid.