The estate planning attorneys at Stefans Law Group tell their clients that a good plan needs to be updated every few years, or after major life events. Some people are a little taken aback when they hear this advice. They have just gone through all the work of creating a will and other complex documents that are meant to convey their final wishes, if necessary. They may not like the prospect of having to revise their plan later on.
But a lot can happen in the days and years after the ink dries on the signatures on an estate plan. A good estate planning attorney tries to draft a plan that can stand up through many eventualities, but even so, a plan will probably need revision after a divorce, a new marriage, the birth of a new child, the death of a loved one, or many other major life events. Reviewing a will every few years gives everyone involved a chance to make sure the estate plan still meets their needs and those of their family.
Special needs trusts
Special needs trusts should be regularly updated as well. As with a will, a special needs trust can become outdated after any major life events. These trusts are also carefully calibrated for financial reasons, and changes in income or needs can render them unsuitable.
Creators of these trusts should reassess their plans after major life events, and regularly every few years. They should make sure their chosen trustee is still a good choice, that health care representatives are still willing and capable of carrying out their duties, and that the trust is still appropriate for the beneficiary’s needs. If their financial situation has changed, they may want to add more funds to the trust, or they may need to make sure it won’t run afoul of Medicaid requirements and other technical details.