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When should you update your estate plan?

Estate planning is one of the most important tasks you can ever undertake. A solid estate plan protects your future, assets and loved ones. Without one in place, it would be up to the state of Illinois to decide how your assets will be distributed when you pass on.

Life rarely goes as planned. When you create an estate plan, you do so based on your current circumstances. And when these circumstances change, you need to update your estate plan.

Here are pointers that should trigger you to review your estate plan.

Changes in fiduciary

When you name a personal representative for your estate, the individual will be responsible for overseeing the probate process, among other functions. But what happens when your estate representative dies, is incapacitated, retired (if you named a professional like a CPA) or is no longer reachable? In this case, you should consider reviewing and updating your fiduciary.

Changes in family situations

Chances are you have had new family members and lost others since you last created your estate plan. Have you had a child or lost a beneficiary? Has your relationship with a beneficiary changed due to a divorce or estrangement? Any changes in family situations should prompt you to review and update your estate plan to reflect such changes.

Changes in the law

Each state has its own laws regarding estate planning and probate. If you relocate your assets to another state, you need to ensure that your estate plan conforms to the laws of the state in question. Alongside relocation, it is also important that you keep up with changes in the law.

Life happens fast. Keeping your estate plan up to date will give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored when you are no longer able or around to make important decisions.

 

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