Almost as important as creating an estate plan is updating it. While an estate plan should at least be reviewed on a yearly basis, there are certain trigger events that require immediate review of your estate planning documents. A recent article discusses some of these events.
It is important to remember that trigger events should lead to estate plan review not just when such events impact you directly, but also when they impact your family members, loved ones, executors, guardians, and anyone else named in your estate planning documents.
The most common trigger events are birth, death, marriage, and divorce. Other trigger events include serious illness, religious change, out-of-state moves, significant job change, and retirement. For those considering marriage, it is important to realize that a pre-marriage will is no longer valid after you are legally married. After marriage, a person must draft a new will in contemplation of marriage if they want to ensure that their wishes are followed.
At the birth of a child, it is vital to adjust your estate plan to name a guardian for your new child. If one of your heirs gives birth to a child, you may wish to adjust your estate plan to include that child.