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When is a Good Time to Review Your Estate Plan?

When you are sitting down to dinner with your spouse or hanging out with friends, chances are you are not talking about wills, asset distribution and who will take care of your children in the event of a parent's death. These topics can be highly sensitive and are often uncomfortable to talk about. 

Because of this, people often feel a great weight lifted off their shoulders once they create their estate plan. It is not uncommon to then assume you never have to worry about it again. However, below are some events and situations that may prompt you to revisit your own plan.

When your family changes

Any time someone is added to or leaves a family, you may need to update your will and your distribution designations. This includes births, deaths, marriages, divorces and adoptions. It can also include changes like familial estrangements or reconciliations.

When your finances change

Funding trusts and leaving an inheritance to your heirs can be significantly affected by any major financial changes. Review your estate plan if you come into a large sum of money, sell property, buy property or if you spend, give away or otherwise lose money.

When your wishes change

A lot can change between the time you create a will and the time it is enforced. During that time, your wishes regarding guardianship, life-saving medical care and distribution of your assets can change considerably. Should you find yourself feeling differently than you did when you created your will, it may be a good idea to revisit it and make any changes you see fit.

Reviewing your estate plan from time to time can be crucial, as you will want to ensure it is up to date and continues to reflect your wishes. While it may still be a bit uncomfortable to revisit your estate plan, failure to do so can lead to confusion, misinterpretation and problematic probate disputes.

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