Your estate plan can provide security and comfort to your surviving loved ones. Even for you, having a plan in place can help you strategize your future and secure your assets.
Overlooking the need to update it periodically may render it inoperable. This preventative and costly oversight can have long-lasting repercussions for the people you love.
Assess your lifestyle
Your lifestyle can have a substantial impact on the strategy you use to plan your estate. Some important factors to consider as you begin planning should include the following:
- Business ownership
- Disability needs
- Divorce or remarriage
Aligning your plan with your lifestyle will customize your strategy to make it optimal for your needs.
Over time, relationships in your circle could fluctuate. This could impact your preferences when naming heirs. Death, estrangement, divorce, remarriage and familial discord could make it so you want to change or update the people you list as beneficiaries. Periodically take time to evaluate your relationships to make sure your money remains with the people you care most about.
Update when necessary
Having an estate plan does not matter much if you allow it to expire. According to U.S. News, a staggering number of Americans, 56% to be exact, have an outdated estate plan. An old strategy, incomplete and missing critical information could leave your heirs facing an uphill battle. An outdated plan may also increase the risks of estate disputes and costly probate challenges.
Make it a point to update your plan whenever a significant life change happens. Even then, a periodic assessment of your plan can help you identify places where improvements could make your plan more compatible and reliable.
Taking good care of your estate plan will make it an asset to you and the people you love.