An estate plan is something each of us needs in our lives to ensure that we are protected against any circumstance. Unfortunately, for the majority of Americans today, research continues to tell us that they have not begun to complete the estate plan that they need. When you have an estate plan, however, what you may not realize is that it is not a static document. Instead, it is an embodiment of your wishes at the time you created it.

Over time, your wishes may change. Over time, the laws that impact your planning may change as well. From birth and death to business changes and retirement, you need a relationship with your estate planning attorney. Through this relationship, he or she can periodically meet with you to advise you on whether or not you should revise old estate plans.   

You may find it challenging to understand the changes that can occur and can have a significant impact on your estate planning. Just a few of the changes you need to keep in mind and address when thinking about the need to revise old estate plans are:

  • Births and deaths
  • Remarriages and divorces
  • Significant changes to your job or workplace
  • Planning for or entering into retirement
  • Complicated issues surrounding your children, such as divorce or remarriage or bankruptcy

These are just a few of the issues that can impact your estate planning on a personal side. What you may not realize, however, is that the law that governs your estate planning also may go through changes that make it necessary to revise old estate plans. For example, there can be changes that impact the type of trust agreement you created to govern your legacy or there can be rule changes that could impact your ability to gain eligibility for public benefits programs, such as Medicaid.

Whether the changes that happened over the last decade are in your life or in the laws that govern your estate plan, there is never a wrong time to meet with your estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney will be able to help you navigate the challenges that can impact your plan and goals. He or she also has special education to be able to help you understand when a change needs to be made to your plan or when your plan is already written to contemplate changes that have occurred.

A new decade is an exciting time for all of us, but it also means that we need to think about what each of us needs from our estate planning for the next ten years and beyond. We encourage you not to wait to schedule a meeting with your estate planning attorney to review your documents and determine if, together, you need to revise old estate plans to be able to reach your goals. You may contact us at any time to schedule a new appointment to either begin your estate planning or to revisit what you have previously created.