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Review your estate plan annually or when circumstances change

A person's will outlines what they want to happen with their assets when they pass away. This is often done in conjunction with trusts to ensure that things get to the correct beneficiary in a timely manner. Many people who are creating a will choose to discuss the terms of the plan with the heirs. Sometimes, there are changes that will be necessary due to changes in the person's wishes or changes in circumstances.

When an estate plan is changed, the person who is making the changes should let the heirs and beneficiaries know what's changing. This can help to take the shock factor out of them learning after the person passes away.

There are a few circumstances that might lead to a person changing a will. Here are a few to consider:

  • The person got married or divorced
  • They have children or their children reach adulthood
  • Grandchildren are born, and they want to include them in the will
  • People named in the current will pass away
  • Guardianship or personal representative designations change
  • The person's assets change considerably
  • Considerable time has passed since the creation of the current will and the person's wishes change
  • Powers of attorney need to change

It is a good idea to review your estate plan on a regular basis. Oftentimes, people will do this annually to ensure that the current set up accurately reflects their wishes. If you have any changes that must be made to your estate plan, make sure you execute those changes in a manner that meets legal requirements. This might prevent a long battle regarding your estate when you pass away.

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