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How Often Should You Update an Estate Plan?

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Estate planning is the process of preparing your affairs for incapacitation or death. While it is not necessarily comfortable to think about, estate planning is important. As noted by the American Bar Association (ABA), an estate plan should protect you and your loved ones. Of course, life brings changes. Your estate planning needs will almost certainly shift over time.

It is important to review and update your estate plan on a regular basis to make sure that it effectively achieves your objectives and protects your loved ones. You may be wondering: How frequently should I update my estate plan? Here, our Tampa estate planning lawyers answer the question by highlighting the key life events that warrant a revision.

Review and Update Your Estate Plan After Major Life Events 

An estate plan should be assessed after any major life changes. A significant change in circumstances may render your estate plan out of date or obsolete. You may want to revise your estate planning after any of the following: 

  • Marriage or Divorce: A change is marital status almost always warrants an update to an estate plan. Whether you are getting married or getting divorced, it is a good time to review key documents.
  • Birth of a New Child: Children should be planned for as part of your estate planning. Beyond including a child as a beneficiary, you may want to set up guardianship protections.
  • Financial Change: Significant financial changes always justify a review of an estate plan. Whether the financial changes are positive or negative, you need to make sure your estate planning is updated accordingly.
  • Health Change: A significant change in health status may require a revision of your estate planning documents.

To be clear, a life change does not mean that you have to start from scratch. A professionally crafted estate plan can be easily adjusted to meet your needs. You can build off of the customized estate plan that you already have in place.

Evaluate Your Estate Plan Every Few Years

It is a best practice to evaluate your estate plan every three to five years. Even if there was no single major life change, you should still review your estate plan. Make sure that the plan you put in place previously still provides adequate protection to you and your family. You may find that you want to make some minor (or major) changes. That is not a problem. Once you have a well-crafted estate plan, revising that plan does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. An experienced Tampa, FL estate planning attorney can help you make changes. 

Contact Our Florida Estate Planning Lawyers Today

At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., we are a boutique law firm dedicated to providing personalized, attentive representation to clients. Our Tampa estate planning attorneys are here to help you find a solution. For a fully private, no commitment consultation, please contact us now. We provide estate planning services throughout the region, including in Tampa, Apollo Beach, Riverview, Brandon, Sun City Centers, and Ruskin.

 

Resource:

americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/

https://www.bubleylaw.com/pet-trusts-in-florida-what-you-need-to-know/

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