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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

How often can estate plans be updated?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Estate Planning

You have just finished drafting your estate plans when you realized there was something you forgot to include. You want to fix this, but can you alter your estate plans so soon? Yes, you can update your estate plans as often as you wish — and there’s no rule that says you have to wait.

Many people update their estate plans every two to three years to include new assets. But, you may need to consider making changes to your estate plans earlier than that. Here’s why:

Why would you need to update your estate plans?

For some people, estate planning is a continuous process. There are many instances where someone has considered updating their estate plans immediately. Here are a few life events that may make you reconsider what you’ve included in your estate plans:

  • Marriage: After marriage, it may help to name a spouse as a beneficiary. This way they would inherit from the estate if the testator suddenly passed away. 
  • Divorce: An estate plan may need to be changed if a testator named their spouse as a beneficiary. But, it may be more important to make alterations if an ex-spouse is named a power of attorney and has control over health and financial matters, which they may no longer be trusted to do.
  • Childbirth: A testator may wish to make a trust if they had a child. The trust could be used to secure the child’s future if they wish to seek higher education, get married or start a business, for example.
  • Death: An heir could have passed away. Assets left to them may need to be redistributed to other heirs.
  • Disinheritance: An heir may have caused conflict with a testator, leading to disinheritance. 

You may be unsure if it’s the right time to update your estate plans. You could reach out for legal help to learn your options and make sure that your estate plans work best for your needs.