Part of making an estate plan is making regular updates throughout your life. It’s often believed that estate plans should be updated every three to five years. However, you may need to update your estate plans ahead of schedule because you were recently married or divorced, had a child or retired.
While you may know it’s time to update your estate plan, you may not know what to change. Here are a few questions you may need to ask yourself as you make changes to your estate plan:
Do you still have the same relationship with your beneficiaries?
Who you include in your estate plan can have a large impact on how your estate is dispersed after you pass away. You may have included, for example, a family member or friend that you don’t have a relationship with anymore. If they were named as a beneficiary, it may be time to remove them. This happens a lot after people get divorced; testators will remove their ex-spouse as a beneficiary.
Is your personal representative still up for the task?
Being a personal representative can take a lot of time away from someone. You may need to discuss with your personal representative if they are still available for the job. You may find that the personal representative is no longer up for the job because their life is asking more from them. Or, if your personal representative is still up for the task, you may want to inform them of any changes to your estate plan.
Do you think your power of attorney has your best interests in mind?
Your estate plan may include a power of attorney. Just like a beneficiary, you may not have the same relationship you once had with your power of attorney. If you suffer from a medical condition or injury, you may not believe that they have time to manage your health and financial decisions on your behalf. If they can’t be there for you, then they may not have your best interests in mind and may need to be relieved of the role.
There’s a lot that you could change in your estate plan. You may need to discuss your options with legal guidance as you revise your estate plan.