Your maintenance of an estate plan does not simply end after the creation of the plan itself. Since this plan must accurately reflect your wishes at the time of your death, you should update it often so it contains up-to-date information.
This means frequent reviews, which can feel like a hassle. Knowing what to focus on during these reviews can help a fair amount.
When to review
Forbes discusses the review process for estate plans. Generally speaking, individuals in the field suggest that people review their plans once every three to five years. This refreshes the memory and allows you to see if anything has changed in the time since you last looked, even if the changes were not major.
During these reviews, it is important to focus on the things that would have the biggest impact on the estate plan itself. This especially includes matters related to assets and to beneficiaries.
Dealing with assets and beneficiaries
Asset matters handle everything from losses to gains. This can include falling into debt and having to file for bankruptcy, or the death of a relative leading to a sudden increase in assets. It also includes asset transfer, such as buying or selling a property.
Beneficiary changes involve the people who enter and leave your life. This can include people who leave via divorce, death, estrangement or other matters, and people who enter it via marriage, birth, and so on.
Needless to say, since dividing assets among your beneficiaries is one of the most important parts of an estate plan, you want to give these areas extra attention when reviewing.