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When should you update your estate plan?

Figuring out your estate plan was probably a large undertaking. It requires a lot of time and energy to decide how to handle your estate and other decisions that will need to be made after you are no longer around. However, your work is not quite done with your estate plan, yet.

Your estate plan needs to be updated periodically. There are changes that happen in your life every day and your estate plan needs to be an accurate reflection of your life. There are different events that will require you to review and make changes to your estate plan.

Marriage

Changes to marriage should prompt a change or update of your estate plan. This not only includes getting married, but divorce too. When you get married or divorced this may prompt a need for a change in your plan such as changing where your financials go or power of attorney.

Birth and death

New additions to the family are also cause for a change in estate plan. This may mean you need to add beneficiaries to your plan or create trusts.

On the other side, a death in the family could also create a cause for updating an estate plan. If you have assets designated to someone who died, you will need to change these. Or if you gave specific responsibilities to a family member or friend who can no longer carry out your wishes, you should change your estate plan.

Finances

Significant changes to your financial plan will also mean you need to update your estate plan. If you received an inheritance or recently bought property you will need to add that to your estate plan. A successful estate plan will accurately reflect all of your assets and other finances.

You should also review your estate plan every few years if not more often, as a general rule, to make sure it aligns with all current tax laws as well as your own feelings and wishes. Estate planning is an essential part of life for you and your family, so it is important to be sure your estate plan is an accurate reflection of your life situation.

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Lanza & Lanza LLP
5 Main Street
Flemington, NJ 08822

Phone: 908-905-0183
Fax: 908-782-4012
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