This is an article from the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia (http://www.kobricklaw.com/) in Garden City, New York, that we thought others may find helpful.
If you have taken the time to create an estate plan you are ahead of the majority of people in the United States; however, don’t make the mistake of assuming you are now done with the subject of estate planning. Creating a comprehensive estate plan is only the first step toward ensuring that you, your loved ones, and your assets are protected now and in the future. For your plan to perform as it should you must update the plan at regular intervals as well as upon the occurrence of life events that should prompt a review of your estate plan.
A well thought out estate plan should protect and grow your assets while you are alive as well as provide for loved ones after your death. In order to accomplish those goals, your plan needs to keep pace with the changes in your life and your assets. The people you wish to provide for, for example, are unlikely to be the same when you are 25 as they are when you are 65. Likewise, the assets available to pass down to loved ones won’t be the same when you are 25 as when you are 65. To ensure that your plan remains current, it should be reviewed on a regular basis and any changes made that need to be made. Though there is no hard and fast rule regarding the frequency with which an estate plan should be reviewed, a good rule of thumb is to plan a review every three to five years during your working years and every five to seven years during your “Golden Years.”
Along with regular reviews, certain life events should also prompt an immediate review and revision, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Birth of a potential beneficiary or heir of your estate
- Death of a beneficiary or heir as well as an Executor, Trustee, or Guardian
- Your own marriage or the marriage of a beneficiary or heir
- Your own divorce or that of a beneficiary or heir
- Permanent move to a new state
- Beneficiary reaching the age of majority
- Significant personal problems of a beneficiary, such as a drug/alcohol addiction
- Significant change in the laws relating to Wills, Trusts, and Estates
- Significant change in your assets
- Starting a business
- Reaching retirement age