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Is it time to review and alter your estate plan?

Once you create an estate plan, you can sit back, take a deep breath and realize that you now have everything the way you want it. However, as the months turn to years, you may find that your original estate plan requires some attention.

Generally speaking, you should review your estate plan a minimum of once per year. Even if you find that everything still works for you and your loved ones, it never hurts to take a closer look.

Adding to this, there are certain situations that call for an immediate review of your estate plan, including but not limited to the following:

  • The death of your spouse: If your spouse passes on before you, it's likely that you'll need to adjust your estate plan. For example, there's a good chance that this person was in line to receive your assets upon your death. Now that they passed on first, you need to change this.
  • The death of your executor: You do your best to choose an executor who is younger than you and healthy, but even if you're successful in doing so it doesn't mean you're 100 percent protected against this. If your executor passes on first, you should make an immediate change to your will.
  • Marriage or divorce: Both of these are major life changes that require your attention in more ways than one. For instance, if you divorce your spouse, you may not want to include them in your estate plan any longer.
  • Birth or adoption of a child: It doesn't matter if it's your first child or you already have one or more, it'll likely call for an estate plan review and subsequent changes.

If you have any reason to believe that you need to review and/or alter your estate plan, don't hesitate to take action. The longer you put this off, the greater chance there is that it will come back to haunt you and/or your loved ones in the future.

Once you know the types of changes you need to make, you can adjust your estate plan accordingly. This will once again give you the peace of mind you're seeking.

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