Creating an estate plan is an essential step in planning ahead for your long-term goals and wishes. That said, once you’ve created an initial plan the work is still not complete. Diligent estate planning requires not just one version of your will, power of attorney or other important documents. In reality, these plans will need periodic checkups and revisions over time.
Keeping elements of your estate plan up to date is a crucial element of prudent planning for everyone in Pennsylvania. A complicated, unclear probate process can add undue stress and tension to an already difficult time of grief, but that stress could be a reality if your estate plan is out of date when it comes time to implement it.
As you continue to take on life’s new challenges and triumphs, consider revisiting your estate plan regularly. Each element of your plan depends on a number of important factors, so it is worth periodically ensuring the plans contain relevant, updated information.
When to update an estate plan
There is no set in stone guidebook for estate planning, but there are a few key times when it is helpful to revisit your plans. Your will is one of a few important elements of your long-term plans and this document in particular may need periodic revisions. Some general times to consider updating your will include:
- Purchasing a home or other property
- Getting married
- Having kids and grandkids
- Starting a new business
- Losing a loved one
- Getting a divorce
- Moving to a new state
- Changes in personal wealth or assets
- Developing health concerns and illnesses
This is not an exhaustive list of the occasions which may prompt you to update your will, but it should give you an idea of when it might be prudent to revisit your estate plan. In addition to life’s major milestones, it is also helpful to check your plan every year or two to ensure it remains relevant and compliant with changing laws and policies.
Prudent planning for your future
Estate planning provides you the opportunity to plan and prepare for the many changes in the course of your life and the lives of those you love. While it may feel daunting to ponder your own demise, consider the benefits to your loved ones if you keep your plans up to date throughout your life.
Avoiding contentious, potentially litigious probate can alleviate major stresses for loved ones once you are gone. Estate planning offers you the chance to prepare for your future while also considering the lives of those around you. Keeping these plans updated is an essential part of fulfilling your long-term wishes and goals.