Having an estate plan can help you visualize your future and plan for the needs of your surviving family members. However, forgetting to keep it updated may interfere with its ability to function the way you intend.
Periodically reviewing your plan can help you verify its accuracy. The little bit of time it takes to make modifications can have a substantial impact on your ability to control your assets later in life.
Your will and other supporting documents provide a place for you to clarify your final wishes. These records can give your family instructions regarding your desires and expectations. Outdated documents can cause confusion and leave your family questioning what you would have wanted. This may increase the chances of familial discord. Disagreements and costly probate court could undermine your wishes and dismantle your plan.
Choosing to talk with your family about your estate plan and verifying that all documents mirror your words can improve everyone’s understanding. With the confidence of knowing what you want, your surviving family members can unite to honor your legacy.
Major life changes can render your former plan ineffective. According to CNN, examples of significant changes include the following:
- Substantial increase in your assets
- Death or birth of loved ones
- Changes to tax codes
- Marriage, divorce and remarriage
Remember that some retirement accounts such as a 401k operate independently of your will. Keeping your named beneficiaries updated can help you maintain control of your assets. With a current plan, you can keep your money in the hands of the people you care about.