When Should I Change my Estate Plan?
We often meet with clients that have not updated their estate plans in 20 or 30 years! While a good estate plan may serve the needs of clients for many years, most people should review their estate plan with their attorney every three to five years.
3 of the more common reasons to make changes to an estate plan are:
- Changes in Family Dynamics – Many things can happen in your family that may cause you to change your estate plan, such as: divorce, remarriage, births, adoptions, children with creditor problems, children with drug or alcohol problems, children with disabilities, and estranged family members. All of these issues require special attention to address the problems and create a plan that will achieve your goals.
- Changes in your Health & Goals – Your plans and expectations in your 30’s are likely different from your plans and expectations in your 70’s. As life progresses, your way of life changes. What was once important may no longer be important. Relationships that you had at one time may no longer remain relevant to your estate plan goals. If you do not update your estate plan, your assets will be distributed to the people and in the manner that you thought was best years ago – regardless of your relationships and opinions at the time of your death.
- Long Term Care – Even if your current estate plan correctly lists your beneficiaries, they may never receive your assets if you have to spend those assets on long term care. Caregivers, assisted living, and nursing homes are very expensive. Your estate plan is an important part of the overall plan to address your qualify of life and the distribution of your assets at death.
–Melanie B. Bradford
Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC
Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust.
2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124
This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.