The elections and designations that you make as part of your estate plan remain binding until they are changed by you. Unless you update your estate plan as necessary, you could be stuck with old designations and experience unintended consequences.
There are various situations that could require you to update your estate plan. You or a family member could go through a divorce, or someone named as power of attorney or in your will could die or no longer be a part of your family. You must affirmatively make a change to remove these people from your estate plan. In addition, your estate may consist of accounts that require you to designate beneficiaries. These elections remain in effect until they are changed.
It is up to you to periodically review your estate plan and make changes as necessary. Most attorneys would recommend a review every three years or so if nothing else has changed in your life.
You should also consider your estate plan after major life events. Your estate plan needs to be updated in order to not only be effective when you need it, but also not to cause you unneeded hassles. You should schedule time with an estate planning attorney every so often to go through your documents to see if any changes are necessary. All it takes is a little bit of time every now and then to ensure that your family maintains the peace of mind that it gets from an estate plan in the first place.
Bountiful Law helps clients in King and Snohomish Counties when they need to draft or change their estate plans. We aim to make your family’s life easier. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 425.517.3051 or send us a message online.