4 Reasons Why You Need to Periodically Review Your Estate Plan

Life tends to change when you least expect it. Whether you are experiencing the joys that revolve around the birth of a new baby or you are experiencing the grief associated with the loss of a loved one, these important events in your life could drastically alter estate planning in NJ that you already have in place.

Periodically reviewing your estate plan will benefit you immensely, and here are four reasons why:

Reason #1 Updating Your Beneficiary Designations‍

Many estate planning attorneys will recommend that you frequently update your beneficiary designations. This is because your family is growing and the dynamic is constantly evolving, which could prompt you to reconsider your designations. Some circumstances that will have you reconsidering your beneficiaries could include marriages, births, divorces, and deaths in the family. Keep in mind that you should also periodically review your designations for your Executor, Trustee and Guardian to ensure that the people assigned to these important roles are still willing and able to take on this responsibility.

‍Reason #2 Asset Management and Redistribution

 It’s critical that you closely review the assets that you have during your lifetime to ensure that they pass to the appropriate heir when you pass away. Bank accounts, residential or commercial property or even your business may be a part of your estate. Therefore, it’s essential that you sit down with an estate planning attorney in New Jersey every so often to review the assets that are currently part of your estate to ensure that they are designated in the correct portion to the beneficiary of your choosing. Also, a good rule of thumb is to name contingent beneficiaries in the event that something were to happen to your primary beneficiary.

Reason #3 Updating Trusts

Trusts are often the centerpiece of you restate plan; they can greatly simplify the process of distributing and allocating assets once you pass away. You may come to find that terms that you drafted in a trust years ago are no longer applicable to the terms that you need in that document now. Also, tax and estate laws can change over the years. Therefore, there may be a more beneficial way of structuring your trust so that you can make the most out of these different tax options.

Reason#4 You Recently Moved

Relocating to a new state can also affect your estate plan in terms of the laws governing that particular area. Every state is different, and if you fail to update your plan, you may inadvertently trigger probate (especially if you own property in a state where you don’t reside). This is a lengthy, time-consuming process that can create a lot of frustrations for your family.

‍One of the most difficult parts of planning your estate can be determining exactly how you want to involve your family as the process unfolds. It’s important that you try to include them in discussions so that they have an understanding of your wishes when the time comes for them to utilize these estate planning documents. The good news is that an estate planning attorney can facilitate those discussions and help make everything a lot easier for you and your family.

Related: 5 Steps to Prepare for Estate Administration After a Loved One Dies