When is the right time to update your estate plan?

Just as a car needs regular maintenance, your estate planning documents need to be updated from time to time. Changes to the law and significant events in your life could alter the way that you originally meant to apportion assets in your estate planning documents. The only way to ensure that your estate plan truly reflects who you are, what you care about, and what you have today is to have your documents reviewed and updated as needed.


So, when are updates needed?  Have there been any changes in your family structure, financial circumstances, or health? The list below pinpoints certain examples of events that could have a significant impact on your estate.

  • You get married or divorced
  • Your spouse dies or becomes incapacitated
  • You become ill or disabled
  • You have a new child
  • Your child marries or divorces
  • Your child becomes ill or disabled
  • You have a new grandchild
  • One of your beneficiaries shows signs of being financially irresponsible
  • One of your beneficiaries develops a drug or alcohol problem
  • The value of your assets has significantly increased or decreased
  • You retire or change employment
  • You acquire property in a different state
  • You move to a different state
  • There have been changes in the law that may affect the language of your documents.
Even if no changes are necessary, you should annually sign updated Powers of Attorney. Some financial institutions won’t accept a Power of Attorney more than a year old. Similarly, the older an Advance Medical Directive is, the less likely it is that it will be honored by a doctor or hospital. 

Don’t let too much time pass between reviews of your plan. The cost of a review is minimal; but the cost to your family if you neglect your plan could be disastrous.  If any of these changes have happened to you or if you haven’t updated your estate plan in the last few years, the time is now. Call the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr to update your estate plan! Ask about The Farr Law Firm’s Lifetime Protection Program, which ensures that your documents are properly reviewed and updated as needed, so that they will have maximum effect at law.

P.S.  If you don’t have an estate plan, now is the time to get started. Call us today at 703-691-1888 to set up an appointment for a free consultation.  

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