It is important to periodically review your estate documents, such as wills and trusts, to make sure that they still reflect your wishes and current circumstances.
One change that should cause a revision of your estate documents is if the planned executor of your estate and/or trustee can no longer perform that role or you wish to choose someone else. A well-drafted document should already have successors named for these roles, but this may be a good time reconsider your successor list. Also review any outstanding powers of attorney that you may wish to change.
Changes in your personal life could also necessitate changes in your estate plan. Events such as marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse may cause your current documents to be inadequate for your needs. The acquisition or disposal of assets such as real property, personal property, or financial wealth may also cause your estate plan to be out of date.
Changes in circumstances for your children and other heirs may also compel updating your estate documents. New found wealth or difficulties amongst your heirs may create a desire to shift your estate allocation in a different direction. An organization you wished to leave money to may have changed names, merged, or ceased operations. In addition to reviewing your attorney drafted documents, such as wills or trusts, also look at other assets that would transfer at death. Review the designated beneficiaries for your retirement accounts, pensions, insurance plans, and beneficiary deeds.
Even if you have no major changes in your circumstances, revising your documents should still occur every few years to make sure that your plan keeps up with any changes in the law or tax code.
Please consult with an elder law attorney to ensure that your personal estate plan is up to date and meets your current needs.