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Keep your estate plan up to date through the years

Creating an initial estate plan is an important step in planning for the future of your life, assets and loved ones. With the use of a will, living trust, power of attorney and other elements of an estate plan, you can designate the terms for how others should handle your estate and wishes when needed.

After the creation of an estate plan, the most important thing you can do is to continue updating these pertinent documents throughout your lifetime. For those in Illinois who currently have an estate plan in place or are looking to create one for the first time, consider the importance of revisiting and maintaining this plan for years to come.

When should you update an estate plan?

There are occasions big and small in a person’s life that may prompt an updated estate plan. Not only should major milestones incentivize you to revisit a will and other estate planning documents, but you should also revisit this plan once a year or every other year at most. This regular, consistent schedule will allow you the chance to ensure all pertinent information is still relevant to your current circumstances.

In addition to the regular check-ups, you should consider updating an estate plan when:

  • Buying or selling property
  • Getting married
  • Having children
  • Starting a new business
  • Moving to a new home in a different city or state
  • Having grandchildren
  • Getting a divorce
  • Closing or leaving a business
  • Losing loved ones
  • Experiencing changes in personal wealth
  • Developing an illness or other health concerns

Both positive and negative changes in your life can prompt the need for an updated estate plan. As your family grows or loses a loved one, it’s important that designations of beneficiaries, trustees, executors and other key roles remain up to date in your estate plan.

Managing your estate plan over time

It can feel intimidating to consider the importance of maintaining an updated estate plan. This kind of long-term planning can make a person feel resistant to life’s inevitabilities, but there are many reasons to consider when thinking about your estate planning needs.

Prudent planning can help lessen the chances of a litigious, burdensome probate process down the line. Not only can your estate plan ensure proper execution of your wishes and goals, but it can also lessen the burdens on loved ones during an already trying time. Maintaining an updated estate plan is a crucial and beneficial aspect of your long term goals for the future.

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