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Estate Planning

How Often Should I Make Changes to My Estate Planning?

Estate planning is crucial to managing your assets and ensuring your assets are passed down to your loved ones correctly. However, your estate planning needs may also change as life changes happen. Whether it’s a change in family, assets, or laws, it’s essential to know when to make changes to your estate planning.

1. Major Life Events

Major life events such as the birth of a child, death of a family member, marriage, or divorce are some of the most common reasons people update their estate planning documents. These events can significantly impact your estate planning needs, and it’s important to update your documents as soon as possible to reflect the changes in your life.

2. Changes in Asset Ownership

If you’ve recently acquired or disposed of a significant asset, such as a piece of real estate or stock options, updating your estate planning accordingly is essential. This will ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes if anything should happen to you. Even a tiny change in asset ownership can significantly affect your estate planning, so reviewing your documents regularly is essential.

3. Update Laws and Regulations

Estate planning laws and regulations constantly change, and staying up-to-date with the latest developments is essential. Law changes can impact the effectiveness of your estate planning documents, so it’s essential to review them periodically. You may need to revise your estate planning documents to ensure they meet the current legal requirements and align with your wishes.

4. Changes in Beneficiaries

If your beneficiaries change, for example, due to a marriage, divorce, or the death of a family member, it’s important to update your estate planning documents accordingly. Your estate plan should reflect your current wishes so that your assets are distributed to the correct beneficiaries. Failing to update your estate planning documents can lead to unintended consequences and potentially create unnecessary conflicts among family members.

5. Regular Review of Your Estate Planning

It’s important to review your estate planning documents regularly, not just when there is a significant change in your life. Regular reviews can help ensure your estate plan remains up-to-date and relevant. Experts recommend reviewing your estate planning documents at least every three to five years. This will allow you to make necessary changes and ensure that your wishes are still accurately reflected in your estate plan.

Wills, Trusts, & Probate Attorneys in Northwest Arkansas

At Martin Attorneys, PA, we are dedicated to supporting you throughout your estate planning. If you have any further questions or need legal assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at (479) 888-2039.