When you originally created your plans for the future, you made your decisions based on the information you had at the moment. Life continues to change after your estate plan is final, and it may be necessary to adjust and change your plans as needed. Every few years, it is beneficial to carefully review your plans, clean out the parts no longer needed, and add any documents necessary to have protection and security.
Most estate plans will benefit from having a clean-out every few years. It is important to evaluate what has changed in your life since you first created your plan. Divorce, remarriage, the birth of new children and other life events can necessitate updates to your existing plans. If you are unsure of where to start, it may help by gaining a better understanding of the documents you currently have and may need.
Cleaning out and cleaning up your plan
An estate plan cleanup starts with organization of your estate planning documents. It is necessary to locate every estate planning document you have and ensure that you understand its function. It is helpful to know the purpose of documents, what it means for the future, whether it is still necessary or whether you should remove it from your estate plan. Once you have identified all your documents, you will need to safeguard the most important ones. You can use a safety deposit box or fireproof box.
Before you get rid of any old or outdated estate planning documents, it is important to carefully review each one. Some of the things you may need to adjust or remove from your estate plan include old or outdated trusts, documents that pertain to old tax laws, old powers of attorney and more. Circumstances change, and it is likely that your estate plan should change as well.
Benefiting your future
The intent of having an estate plan is to provide you with the security you need to face the future with confidence. With an outdated plan, you may not fully control what happens to your assets after you pass or what happens with your assets or medical care in case of incapacitation. An assessment of your existing plan will determine what adjustments and changes are necessary for your situation.