How Often Should an Estate Plan be Reviewed?

Estate planning is an ongoing process, so it is not uncommon for those who are involved in planning their own estates to review their bequests regularly. While this can be done annually, semi-annually, or even quarterly, most people are encouraged to review their estate plans at least every three to five years, or whenever they experience a major life event. For help planning or reviewing your own estate, please reach out to experienced Chicagoland attorney Alan G. Orlowsky today.

Reviewing Your Estate Plan After Major Life Changes 

In addition to regularly reviewing your estate plan, it’s also usually a good idea for those who are engaged in the estate planning process to review and update their plans when a major life event occurs, including:

  • The birth or adoption of a child, grandchild, or other relative
  • A marriage or divorce
  • The death of a spouse or beneficiary
  • A serious illness or disability in the family
  • When a child reaches the age of majority
  • The acquisition or loss of a valuable asset
  • Retirement
  • Relocating to another state or somewhere outside of the U.S.
  • The receipt of an inheritance or valuable gift
  • A change in life insurance coverage

These kinds of life changes can have a significant effect on a person’s estate plan. The birth of a new child, for instance, could mean that a testator will need to reassess how her assets will be divided amongst all of her children. Similarly, a divorce could leave gaps in a person’s will or trust, as could the death of a spouse, making it particularly important for testators to assess estate plans after these kinds of major changes.

Reviewing Your Estate Plan at Regular Intervals 

Even those who haven’t experienced any major life changes should strongly consider sitting down with an experienced estate planning attorney at least every five years to review their will, trust, or estate plan. Changes in tax laws, advances in the medical field, career changes, and even economic downturn can turn a good estate plan into an outdated one.

By checking your estate plan at regular intervals, preferably every few years, you can make sure that your beneficiaries are updated, review your designations and inheritance-related decisions, and ultimately, ensure that your plan still makes sense for you and your loved ones and is an accurate representation of your wishes.

Schedule an Initial Case Review Today 

Whether you have just begun the process of planning your estate, have experienced a major life change, or are concerned that your estate plan no longer represents your wishes, it is important to review and update your wills, trusts, and beneficiary and power of attorney designations.

To learn more about creating, changing, or adding to your own estate plan, please reach out to the experienced Chicagoland estate planning lawyers at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. Attorneys at Law today. You can reach a member of our legal team by calling our office at 847-325-5559, or by sending us an online message.

Updated as of July 2019
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