Creating your estate plan is just one step out of many when it comes to estate plan maintenance. Of course, since your estate plan will determine what happens to your estate after your death, you must constantly keep it up to date with your current life circumstances.
But how often should you update your estate plan? Is there a legal timeline you have to follow?
What do experts say?
Forbes discusses updating your estate plan. First, while many experts will offer guidelines about when and why you should review your plan, you have no legal guidelines to follow. This means you will not face penalties for not updating your estate plan, though it would benefit you to not leave it untouched indefinitely.
Experts generally suggest you review your plan once every 3 to 5 years. You do not need to update your plan every time you launch a review, nor do you need to review the entire plan from front to back every time you take a look at it. Instead, consider focusing on only the biggest and most important parts, or the parts most likely to undergo change.
Areas of frequent change
These parts will often include your beneficiaries or finances, which change the most over the years. For example, you may have an estranged relative or ex-spouse that you no longer want on your trust or will. You might have lost money through debt or gained money through inheritance that you have yet to account for, too.
It can help to have an attorney working with you through your reviews and updates. They can help you decide if it is time to review, and what changes you may want to make if you decide to make any updates.