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Is it time to update your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate

Your estate plan includes a set of instructions about what should be done to your assets after you pass away. 

You likely have a vague recollection of the last time you made your estate plan. Part of the estate planning process, however, is making regular updates. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

When was the last time you made any changes to your plans?

An estate plan may be considered old if it’s been three to five years to date since the last time your plan was made. Typically, many people make investments and purchases within three to five years. If this is the case for you, then it may be time for a revised estate plan.

Did you move out of state?

Each state has unique estate planning laws. You may have made your estate plans in another state and have since moved to North Dakota. As a result, you may need to have your plans reviewed and make revisions based on North Dakota estate planning laws.

Did you get married or divorced?

Many estate plans are made or altered based on the testator’s current marital status. In other words, your estate plan may need to be altered to include a spouse after marriage. A spouse may be a beneficiary, executor, or power of attorney. However, these changes may need to be made again if you’ve since gone through a divorce. 

Did you have children?

A lot of parents make decisions for the benefit of their children. If you’ve had children since you last made your estate plan, then you may be considering making some alterations. For example, you may be considering naming a child guardian who can care for your child if you’ve suffered a fatal accident. (Similarly, if your children are now adults and you haven’t updated your estate plan since they were teenagers or younger, it’s time.)

There are a lot of reasons to update an estate plan. If you have questions or are unsure if it’s the right time to make changes to your estate plan, then you may need to seek legal guidance.