When Should I Update My Estate Plan?

Drafting a comprehensive estate plan can be a time-consuming and emotional endeavor. After all, these documents need to prepare your chosen agents/personal representatives for unexpected medical emergencies, safeguard your end-of-life choices, and protect your assets and beneficiaries during the probate process upon your death. You can’t just lock these documents away and assume that you’ll still be 100% protected in 10-20 years.

A customized estate plan can include the following documents and more:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney for health care (Designation of Health Care Surrogate)

It’s important to remember that your estate plan is generally only effective if it reflects your current lifestyle and financial circumstances. This is particularly true if you have a large estate or business interests that need to be accounted for. While an old estate plan does provide protections, it’s likely missing critical information that can impact your agents/personal representatives and beneficiaries.

Your estate plan should be updated to account for the following scenarios:

  • Divorce
  • A new marriage
  • Career changes – if substantial change in income or health risks
  • Starting a business
  • Births and deaths in the family
  • Property purchases/Real estate acquisitions
  • Illnesses or disability
  • Changes in state or federal tax laws

However, you don’t need to wait for one of these life-changing events to update your estate plan. In fact, we recommend reviewing your documents with a qualified attorney once every 4-5 years.

The Importance of Updating Your Agents/Personal Representatives & Beneficiaries

Your estate plan encompasses several crucial documents that reinforce your medical choices and guard your financial assets. For this reason, it’s important to periodically revise your list of agents/personal representatives and beneficiaries. An outdated estate plan may include agents/personal representatives or beneficiaries who are negligent, deceased, or simply no longer part of the testator’s life.

Update Your Estate Plan Today

It’s never too late or too early to start preparing for the future. If you’re interested in drafting or updating your estate plan, contact the Okaloosa County estate planning attorneys at Chesser & Barr, P.A. Our experienced legal team has been providing informed legal guidance and comprehensive estate planning services. With our help, you can develop a thorough and effective estate plan that protects your interests and circumvents probate court.

Discover peace of mind today. Contact Chesser & Barr, P.A. at (850) 610-7471 to schedule a consultation.