How often should I update my estate plan?

Your existing will may no longer reflect your wishes as time passes. In general, you should review your estate plan every 3 to 5 years to ensure it still meets your needs and complies with new Texas and Federal laws. Many people review their estate plan at a regular frequency, often when they review their whole financial plan.

Major life changes such as death of a family member, divorce, birth of a child, collecting an inheritance, other changes in assets, moving to a new state or acquiring property in a different state often make reviewing your plan a very good idea.

You should also review your estate plan if you have changed your mind about who gets what in your estate, or who your estate representative, guardian for your children, trustee or power of attorney agent should be. If any of these occur, it's time to consult with your estate planning attorney.

In addition to regular reviews, it's a good idea to review and update your plan at life events like the following:

  • You change your mind about who gets what and when they receive it.
  • The birth or adoption of a new child or grandchild
  • When a child or grandchild becomes an adult
  • When a child or grandchild needs educational funding
  • Death or change in circumstances of the guardian named in your will for minor children
  • Changes in your number of dependents, such as the addition of caring for an adult
  • Change in your or your spouse's financial or other goals
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Illness or disability of your spouse
  • Change in your life or long-term care insurance coverage
  • Purchasing a home or other large asset
  • Borrowing a large amount of money or taking on liability for any other reason
  • Large increases or decreases in the value of assets, such as investments
  • If you or your spouse receives a large inheritance or gift
  • Changes in federal or state laws covering taxes and investments
  • If any family member passes away, becomes ill, or becomes disabled
  • Death or change in circumstance of your executor or trustee
  • Career changes, such as a new job, promotion, or if you start or close a business

Reviewing your plan at regular intervals in addition to major life events will help ensure that your legacy, both financial and otherwise, is passed on in accordance with your wishes and that your beneficiaries receive their benefits as smoothly as possible.

The Capelle Law Firm provides comprehensive estate planning services in Plano, Frisco, Collin County, Denton County and the Dallas area. Call 214-387-6040 now to schedule a complimentary, no obligation consultation.