This is how often you should update your estate plan

September 25, 2023 Posted In Estate Planning
by Colorado Estate Matters

Your estate plan is the crucial document set that dictates your wishes following your death. This set of documents should cover all your needs, from your financial assets and to whom they will belong to your health care and other wishes. However, life changes fast, and you may find that your estate plan is surprisingly outdated.

So, how often should you update your estate plan? For an updated estate plan, contact a Denver estate planning attorney. They can help you gather the information you need and maintain your documents as soon as needed.

update estate plan

Why should I update my estate plan?

Many people think of estate planning as a single event. However, life changes quickly. You may find that you may have had several significant life events that change your needs in a few short years. If your estate plan is outdated at this point, that can leave your family struggling to meet your wishes, especially if your estate ends up in probate court.

You may also want to act now to ensure that the right people get the assets you want them to have following your death. That can be important if you pass down a home, a prized heirloom, or a trust that could provide a security net for your family for many years to come.

Because of this, keeping your estate plan as updated as possible is vital. But how often is this necessary?

How often should I update my estate plan?

Because estate plans can become outdated quickly, it is important to review your plan regularly. Significant changes can happen even if you are young, and your estate plan may become inappropriate if you are not regularly reviewing it.

Because life can change so quickly, updating your estate plan at least every 3 to 5 years is essential. Updating at least this frequently can help you adapt to major life events that may have occurred since your plan was implemented.

Other people choose to update or review their estate plans more regularly. Reviewing your estate plan quarterly, biannually, or annually can ensure you make these changes as quickly as possible. This can be useful for those who may be having many major life changes or who are concerned about their health.

When to update your estate plan: Following a major life event

Whenever a major life event happens, you need to update your estate plan to account for it. For example, you may have sold your house, had a grandchild, or made big changes to your retirement plan, etc. These life events can affect your plan and impact its outcome.

Unfortunately, an estate plan may also need to be changed to reflect changes to your beneficiaries, such as removing someone from your will. This is especially important in cases where you may have had a falling out with a family member who has control over your assets or your decision-making.

For example, if you and your spouse divorce but your spouse has power of attorney over you, seeking to change your estate plan to reflect this major life event may be critical. If you are unsure whether you have reason to change your estate plan, speak to an attorney about the changes you have experienced and how your estate plan may need an update.

What should I update in my estate plan?

As you update your estate plan, knowing what needs to be updated is essential. While certain things may not change over time, it is important to reflect on at least all of the pertinent documents included in your estate plan.

As you begin reviewing your estate plan, be sure to speak to an attorney about any or all of the following documents you may need to cover:

  • Revocable living trusts
  • Living wills
  • Financial power of attorney
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • HIPAA authorization
  • Guardian and Conservator nomination

If you have any questions about what may need to be changed for your estate plan, or if you are unsure how to make these changes, an estate planning lawyer can guide you through this process and ensure that all paperwork is done according to the legal statutes of Colorado. We are here to help make this process as easy as possible.

Update with an attorney

Knowing that your estate plan is out of date can be stressful, but being proactive about your estate plan can make a big difference. With an estate planning attorney, you can ensure that your wishes are respected through the end of your life and after death.

At Colorado Estate Matters, we understand how important it is to keep your estate plan as up-to-date as possible to reflect your wishes. We offer free consultations to those ready to take action on their estate plans. When you are ready, call (303) 713-9147 or fill out our online contact form.

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