Three Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan (And How to Do It)

Too often, people make the mistake of failing to have an estate plan. So many people tell themselves, “Oh, I’ll get around to it eventually,” not considering the fact that unexpected tragedies could strike at any time. However, another major estate planning mistake comes in a close second place: Having an existing estate plan, but failing to update it.

It is advisable to review your estate plan every year and update it at least every three years. Additionally, it needs to be updated after any major life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or death of a loved one. Read on to discover some of the most important reasons to update your estate plan.

  1. Your family has changed.

When new members are added to your family, whether through the birth of a child or grandchild or through marriage, you need to update your estate plan to include their names. Updating family relationships in the estate plan safeguards inheritance rights. 

In some cases, you may also want to remove someone from your estate plan. Some reasons to make changes comes from a death, divorce, or family estrangements. Making changes keeps your wishes intact. 

  1. You’ve gained or lost assets.

Different sets of assets require different plans. If you have significantly more or less assets to plan for, you’ll need to revisit your estate plan and make sure it is still appropriate. Situations that can cause your assets to grow or shrink include inheriting money or property from a deceased loved one, selling a business or real estate, or losing an income source.

  1. You’ve moved.

Since different states have different laws that regulate your estate plan, you need to review it anytime you move to a new state. The adjustments between states are small; however, amendments may be needed to meet particular laws.

So how do I update my estate plan?

A third mistake that happens to an estate plan occurs when people mistakenly think they can make the changes themselves. Incorrect changes may void an estate plan and increase probate costs. It is absolutely essential to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that the update to your estate plan is performed legally and in the wisest, most effective way possible. If you’re located in Missouri and you’re ready to review your plan, contact Sheri Tucker, Esq. with Tucker Legal Services, LLC. at (314) 332-0011. Sheri is eager to help you protect your family’s future, and ensure that your estate is treated in accordance with your wishes when the time comes.

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