What some may not realize is that it is important to regularly revisit and update your estate plan. This will help ensure that it is accurate and according to your current wishes. However, how do you navigate updating an already existing estate plan? Family Law Group can help explain just what should be done when updating an estate plan.
Updating Already Created Estate Plans
If you have previously created an estate plan, then you are already ahead of the game. However, as time goes on, it is important to revisit your plan and make updates as needed. The first step in updating an estate plan is to review all documents that make up the plan.
Updating Specific Documentation
When updating estate plans, specific documents will require attention.
Reviewing Wills and Other Documents
One of the most important aspects of updating your estate plan is to review all documents regularly. This includes, but is not limited to, your will, power of attorney, and advance directives. It’s best to do this at least once a year, or sooner if any major life changes have occurred.
When reviewing your will, consider whether any changes in your personal life or circumstances would warrant changing the beneficiaries named in the document. This could be due to a change in your relationship status, the birth of a child, or another event. You may also want to review the executor you have named to ensure they are still up for the task and willing to take it on.
Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the assets you have listed in your will are still accurate. This could mean adding or removing certain items or changing the value of certain assets.
Updating Power of Attorney
If you have already established a power of attorney, it’s important to update this document as well. You may want to consider changing the person you have named as your power of attorney or updating the financial institutions where this person has access to your accounts.
It’s also important to review the powers you have given your power of attorney. You may want to add or remove certain powers or update the conditions under which these powers can be used.
Modifying Advance Directives
Advance directives are documents that outline your wishes for medical care in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself. These documents can include a living will, which outlines the types of medical treatment you would or would not want to receive, and a healthcare power of attorney, which names a person to make decisions on your behalf.
Like other estate planning documents, it’s important to review your advance directives regularly and update them as needed. This could mean changing the person you have named as your healthcare power of attorney, or making changes to the medical treatments you are willing to receive.
When a New Estate Plan Should Be Created
In some cases, it may be necessary to create a new estate plan from scratch. This could be due to a change in your circumstances, such as getting married, having children, or experiencing a significant increase in assets.
It’s also important to create a new estate plan if your previous one was not created properly and is not enforceable.
Don’t DIY Your Updates
If you are planning on updating your estate plan, it may be tempting to attempt to do so without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Allow the team at Family Law Group to step in and help get this process underway. We can help ensure that your plans are accurate, reflect your wishes, and are enforceable.
Reach our team today at (703) 552-5072 to start updating your estate plan.