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When Should I Update My Will, Trust, or Estate Plan?

Wills, trusts and estate plans are documents that outline how you want your assets and property to be distributed after you pass away. Although many people think of these documents as though they are set in stone, they are actually meant to be updated from time to time. When should you update your will, trust or estate plan?

As life changes, you should update your will, trust or estate plan to reflect your most current wishes and circumstances. Some of the life events that may prompt you to revisit your plan include:

  • A change in your family. Did you get married or divorced? Add a child to your family? Experience the death of a loved one? All of these circumstances likely call for a need to revise your estate planning documents, whether it is to add or remove someone. These changes may also be necessary if a beloved friend is no longer a part of your life.
  • A change in your financial situation. If you have received a large inheritance or experienced a significant increase in assets, it is probably necessary to update your estate plan to reflect these increases or new assets. A vast increase in assets may warrant updating your estate plan to include estate tax planning.
  • A change in your desires. Maybe a relationship with a previously designated beneficiary has changed, or you decide you would rather donate your assets to a charity. Maybe you would like to change your agent under power of attorney or a guardian for your children. Whatever it is, your documents should reflect your most current wishes.
  • A change in the law. Estate planning and tax laws can change frequently, so it is important to ensure your will, trust or other estate planning documents comply with the most recent regulations.
  • There have not been any major changes in your life, but it has been serval years since you updated your estate plan. Even if there have not been any life events that would trigger an overhaul of your estate plan, it is still a good idea to revisit your documents from time to time to ensure they still comport with your wishes.

If you need to update your will, trust or estate plan (or create one!), you need an estate planning attorney. At Brown Law Firm, LLC, our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you evaluate your plan and make any necessary revisions to ensure your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes. Call (303) 339-3750 to get started.