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How old is your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Estate Planning |

One of the biggest issues that beneficiaries and executors face is an outdated estate plan. Many testators go many years without updating their estate plans. As a result, an old estate plan may not include newer investments and changes promised by the testator. 

While it’s generally important to update an estate plan every several years, testators may also want to consider life events that may alter their final wishes. Here’s what you should know:

3 reasons to update your estate plans

Nearly anything can cause a testator to create a new estate plan. Here are a few common life events that have led people to alter their estate plans:

  • You just got married or divorced: A testator may wish to update their estate plans so that their newlywed spouse is legally obligated to assets if the testator passes away unexpectedly. The spouse could even be named power of attorney to help manage medical and financial decisions on behalf of the testator or as a child guardian for a child from another relationship. Conversely, these decisions might need to be reversed if the testator went through a divorce. 
  • You have a new child: Planning for a child’s future is important for parents. A parent may wish to alter their estate plan so that assets are put aside for their child’s future education, for example. Or, a child guardian could be named to assist in the child’s upbringing if their parents passed away too soon. 
  • You recently moved to a different state: Each state has unique estate planning laws. A testator who recently moved may need to revise their estate plans to align with state laws.

Updating an estate plan can be just as complicated as the first time it’s made. Testators may need to reach out for legal help as they develop a new estate plan.