When Should People Update Their Estate Plan?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | estate planning |

Change is just part of life in Illinois, but people generally make decisions based on their current circumstances as it is very hard to predict the future. This is true for people’s estate plans. They may create an estate plan when they are relatively young, but when changes occur in their lives, the initial estate plan may no longer be what they want.

If people do not periodically check their estate plan and update it, when they pass away they are stuck with their initial decisions. While periodic reviews are good, there are also specific occurrences which should cause people to review their estate plans.

Events requiring an update in an estate plan

Certain life events should trigger a review. Those life events include marriages, divorces, death of a child or spouse, retirement, moving to a new state, birth of a child and others.

People should also review it if a personal representative, trustee, guardian, health care agent or attorney-in-fact is no longer able to be in that role.

If people have a major increase in their wealth, purchase property in a different state, either start a business or sell a business or have other major changes to their assets, it is a good time to review their estate plans as well.

People should also review their estate plan when there are changes to the estate or gift tax laws both at the state level and federally or other changes in the law affecting estate plans.

Keep an estate plan updated

Estate plans are very important for people in Illinois. As people have no idea when they will die, it is also important to have an estate plan even when people are younger and death is the last thing on their mind. However, this means that people also need to update their estate plan as their lives change. In some situations, having an outdated estate plan can be just as bad as having no estate plan at all.