Having an estate plan can give you a place to document financial goals, clarify asset distribution and share your final wishes. Using the information you provide, those in charge of closing your estate can know precisely what to do.
Contrary to what some have said, your estate plan is never complete. You will want to periodically review its contents and make timely updates to guarantee its accuracy even as your life changes.
Keep your money in the family
Most married couples name each other as a beneficiary if the other dies. However, if you get divorced and do not update your estate plan, your ex could legally still collect your assets after your death. Even if you remarried and had informal documentation describing your wishes, if these changes do not reflect in your estate plan, your family may lose those assets.
Contrarily, making timely updates to your plan after major life developments can guarantee that your money stays with the people you care about. Some examples of events that may impact your plan include adoption, acquiring an inheritance, a move across state lines and the births of grandchildren. U.S. News suggests a review of your plan every five to seven years unless something significant happens.
Even if you feel confident about the strategies you have chosen for your plan, you may have some family members who disagree with your decisions. Keeping your estate plan updated and adding context over time may encourage understanding from everyone involved. With a current and concise description of your final wishes, your family may feel more unified and the chances of an estate dispute happening may be less likely.
An updated estate plan is the most effective one. You may choose to work with an attorney to alleviate some of the stress of making changes to legal documentation. This way you can rely on the experience of a professional to guide you through the process.