While it is true that by having an estate plan, you have already taken a step in the right direction for your financial future, it does not mean you stop planning. Many people create an estate plan, lock the document away and forget about it. If you want a valid and comprehensive estate plan, there are various steps you need to take to avoid the common mistakes that others make.
According to Fidelity, you should reassess your estate plan at least once every three to five years.
How old are your kids now versus when you made the estate plan?
It is common for people to create an estate plan after they have children. After all, if something happens to you and your spouse, you want to ensure that the kids have a guardian to take care of them and assets for their future. However, despite aging kids, many people forget to update the estate plan. As your kids grow up, your relationships with other people may change. Your idea of guardianship can change. Additionally, if your kids become adults, you no longer need a guardian but may need to plan more in-depth about their inheritance. Your wishes change as you age and as your family ages.
How much wealth did you acquire?
Most people acquire more wealth as they age. You might write a will when you have very little money. As you accumulate wealth, your estate plan has to become more complex. Wealth increases your income taxes and death taxes. You should review the financial situation in your estate plan regularly to ensure you have the correct formulas to save your family from having to overpay if something happens to you.
The courts cannot determine your current wishes if you do not regularly update your estate plan.