In many of our previous posts we’ve stressed the importance of keeping your estate planning documents up-to-date. Changes to the law, as well as changes to your own personal, medical and financial status can wreak havoc on a well-crafted estate plan if these changes aren’t addressed. A good rule of thumb is to have your attorney review your estate planning documents every 2-5 years, but are there other changes or life events that might necessitate a more immediate review or update? The answer to that question is YES!
Andrew Chan has written a short article for the Boston Globe in which he lists 13 significant life events that should have you reaching for the phone to call your attorney. To go to the article and read his list click here. To Mr. Chan’s list we would add just a few more life events that could have an effect on your estate plan:
The approaching need to rely upon assistive living care from caregivers in the home, assisted living or nursing facility.
Concerns about the decline in cognitive mental abilities of yourself or your spouse.
A change in residence—especially if you move to a new state.
Children or grandchildren turning 18 or graduating from college—this may or may not change your estate plan, but at the very least your young adults will now need their own health care directives and privacy forms.
If you anticipate one of your relatives or heirs disagreeing with your wishes and challenging your will, trust or overall estate plan.
There are of course a great number of things which could impact your estate plan, not all of which can be named in one article or blog post; but if you stay aware—and stay in touch with your estate planner—you can rest easy that your plan will continue to function exactly as you intend.