When Should I Change My Estate Plan? | Ingold’s Insights

Ingold's Insights - when should I change my estate plan

Creating an estate plan allows someone to carry out their wishes in a last will and testament and other documents. Without a written will, financial power of attorney, or health care proxy, among other documents, things could become challenging for families in an emergency. Forward-thinking New York planners might wisely put a plan together, but they may not realize that they may need to change their estate plan at some point.

An estate plan might require changes

Several life changes could prompt alterations to an estate plan. Among the most common reasons involves additions to the family. The birth or adoption of a child or grandchild might lead someone to revise a will to include the young one.

Sometimes, less-than-positive life events might motivate an estate planner to make changes. A beneficiary may die, or a relationship could become estranged. Spouses might divorce. Unless the planner changes a will or any transfer on death designations, those the planner does not want to receive assets might remain legally entitled to them.

Further issues of consideration for estate planners

Estate planning decisions may involve more than choosing particular beneficiaries or making choices about asset allocations. Perhaps there needs to be a change in the choice of the estate’s executor or the agent under a power of attorney. These duties involve significant responsibilities, and various reasons could lead to removing the original person and naming someone else.

Someone’s health could change for the worse – or improve – unexpectedly. A new diagnosis may motivate revisiting and revising a health care proxy or living will. Situations involving health, like financial ones, might be more fluid than realized.

An annual review of all estate documents might be advisable. Sometimes, an unexpected incident could lead to reviewing the documents more than once a year.