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Don’t let your estate plan become outdated

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Part of the estate planning process is making regular updates during the testator’s life. This is often a forgotten part of estate planning that can lead to probate delays and challenges. 

Here’s what you should know about updating your estate plan:

5 reasons to update an estate plan

It’s often believed that an estate plan should be updated every 3 to 5 years. This is about the amount of time it would take for people to add new investments into their estate. There may also be several changes in a testator’s life to cause them to alter their estate. Here are some examples:

  • The testator got married: Marriage is a big event in many people’s lives. It may be important for testators to alter their estate plan so that their spouse is included. Their spouse may be a primary beneficiary of the estate, for instance. Or, a spouse may be a child guardian of a testator’s child from another parent. 
  • There was a divorce: Many of the changes made to an estate plan after marriage may be reversed after a divorce. Many people do this because there is a level of trust that they do not have with their ex-spouse that they once had. 
  • The testator had a child: Many parents plan for their child’s future. An altered estate plan can help. For instance, a trust could be made so that trust funds would be used for a child’s future education. 
  • A beneficiary passed away: Unfortunately, a beneficiary may pass away before a testator. If this beneficiary would have benefited greatly from an estate, then the testator may need to choose a new one. 
  • The testator moved to a new state: States have different estate planning laws. A testator who moves to a new state may need to revise their estate plan to follow that state’s laws.

Having someone with legal experience help you update your estate plan may prevent issues for your beneficiaries.