Most people understand the importance of creating an estate plan that includes a will and living will, as well as medical and financial power of attorney papers. If something happens to you, these documents will ensure your wishes are carried out rather than having important decisions falling to the courts and the state. This is essential regardless of the size of your estate or the number of your dependents.
Yet, putting together these documents (naming beneficiaries, guardians, executors and trustees, not to mention contemplating one’s demise) can be emotionally exhausting. People are usually relieved when it is “done,” and they can tuck away the binder full of documents in a drawer to be forgotten.
Then life goes on. Our careers advance or shift course. Our families grow or contract. Our finances ebb and flow. The world around us changes. After time, the estate plan put in the drawer no longer works as we intended.
It’s important to revisit your estate plan with your legal and financial advisors whenever you experience a major life change. Even when your own life has been fairly uneventful, a review of your estate plan every five to seven years is wise. Changes in federal and state laws, for example, can impact your plan. Your plan can also be affected when your children become adults and have children of their own.