Estate Planning: When To Make Updates

Estate planning is necessary for everyone – no matter their age or life circumstances. But, while it’s crucial to create a plan, it’s just as essential to keep it updated. You must review and update your estate plan frequently, especially during certain events.

Updates to Make to Your Estate Plan

Personal changes: You should review your estate plan after any significant changes in your personal life. This includes major life events such as marriage, divorce, or the birth or adoption of a child. You may need to update beneficiary information, add guardianship information, or change who you’re leaving assets to based on life changes. Failing to do this could result in your ex-spouse still being listed as one of your beneficiaries, for example.

Financial updates: If your wealth significantly changes, you should update your estate plan. This can include if you inherited money or property, acquired new assets, or your income significantly increased or decreased. Updating your estate plan lets you work with our estate planning attorney to discuss asset protection, tax planning, or charitable giving based on your current financial situation.

Change of residence: If you moved to a different state – or even a different country – since you created your estate plan, you should talk to your attorney about how that can impact your plan. There can be differences you need to account for, including tax changes, or other local laws you need to adhere to.

Tax law updates: When creating an estate plan, you might not think about tax laws and how they impact your assets and property. Estate taxes and inheritance taxes can affect your plan. You should review your estate plan periodically with a tax professional or your estate planning attorney to discuss any changes that could affect you and your loved ones.

Changes in medical status or healthcare wishes: Your estate plan should include information about your medical wishes and directives. This can include documents such as a living will or healthcare power of attorney that outline your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life decisions. If your wishes regarding medical care change, it’s important to update these documents accordingly. You should also update your wishes if you are diagnosed with an illness or condition. This can impact the types of decisions someone may need to make on your behalf, especially if there is a risk you will be incapacitated.

Business ownership changes: If you own a business, you should work closely with your estate planning attorney to document any changes. This can include any changes in ownership or structure. You should document how the business will be transferred or managed after your death, or how you want to provide for business partners or employees. You should also work with your estate planning attorney if you want to leave instructions for your business and its assets after your passing.

Estate planning attorneys recommend reviewing your estate plan every few years or when a significant life event occurs. An attorney will help you decide what events require changes, how to alter your documents, and any other details you should include in your estate plan.

Why Hire Us for Estate Planning

When you have questions about your estate plan and when to make changes to it, trust our estate planning attorneys at Johnstone Adams LLC.

Ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.

To get started, contact us at 251-319-4659 or

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