Creating an estate plan is just the first start of managing an estate and preparing it for an easy hand-down after your death.
Reviewing and maintaining your estate plan is an ongoing process. But how do you know when you should review your plan in the first place?
Why should you review your plan?
CNBC discusses the importance of reviewing your estate plan. Of course, an estate plan exists to determine how your assets should be handled and to which beneficiaries things may go to. But life is not stagnant, and what was true when you first created your estate plan may not hold true over the years.
In short, you need to review your estate plan somewhat frequently to ensure that you still have the same assets in the same forms and that they are going to the same people. If this is no longer the case, you can alter your estate plan then.
When should you review it?
Generally, it is suggested that you at least review your estate plan once every two to three years. This gives you ample time between reviews and allows you to refresh your memory in case anything did change that you simply forgot about.
However, you should review and update your plan every time you face a major life change, too. This especially includes changes to your assets or to your beneficiaries. Examples of the former can include filing for bankruptcy or coming into an inheritance, while examples of the latter include marrying, divorcing, giving birth to a child, or the death of a loved one.