Accomplishing the goal of putting together a comprehensive estate plan can be a big task, from listing and organizing assets to making the tough decisions about how to pass them along and to whom. Once this process is over, many people mistakenly believe that their work here is done, but the truth is that estate plans should be somewhat dynamic and it is often in one’s best interest to change it over time, making small adjustments to fit changing circumstances or making big changes to accommodate major life events like a birth, death, or marriage.
These types of life events along with others such as the purchase or sale of a house, the sale of a business, or the influx of a large amount of money from some other source should trigger at least a brief review of an estate plan. It is important to make sure it stays current to suit what your life looks like in the present day, since it will be applied to the facts as they are, not the facts as they were when the documents were first written.
One of the most important documents to keep current is a power of attorney designation since a person who holds power of attorney has a significant to manage or meddle in your affairs. So, if one gives their spouse power of attorney and then at a later date they get a divorce, the power of attorney document may remain in place unless something is proactively done to change that.
Source: ABC 23, “ When Should An Estate Plan Be Reviewed? ” Keith Morris, Nov. 7, 2013.