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Know when to review your estate plan

One mistake that many people make is failing to update their estate plan. This isn't something that you can create once and then forget about forever. Instead, you need to look at the plan periodically so that you can assure it still represents your wishes.

There are certain times when you should check your plan. Major life changes might affect the terms of the plan, such as what assets need to be covered and whom you want those to go to. Making sure that your plan is up to date can help you to feel less stress and will provide guidance for your family members when you pass away.

Too much time has passed

It is recommended that you review your estate plan at least once every three years. This gives you the chance to see if there are any changes that impact your plan. Maybe you don't want the same power of attorney named or someone in your will passed away. Taking the entire plan one item at a time may seem daunting but it can help you to determine what isn't working now.

You got married or divorced

If you get married or go through a divorce, your estate plan needs to reflect that change. You don't want your new spouse to be without support and you probably don't want to support your ex if you pass away. This is a good chance to revamp the entire estate plan.

Changes with your children

Whether you have a new baby or one of your children becomes an adult, you will need to look at the estate plan to determine how to provide for them in the appropriate way. You might also need to change the estate plan if you have new grandchildren.

You move or your financial situation changes

States have different probate laws. If you move to a new state, you need to review the plan to ensure that it complies with the laws where you live. Another time when you should check things over is if you have a major change in your finances. This might be if you come into money, make more investments or suffer a loss.

When you are going over the estate plan, don't forget to check with financial institutions to determine if your accounts have the correct person listed in the payable on death document. This person will get the assets in the account when you pass away, so make sure you have this set properly.

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