Your Checklist For Reviewing An Estate Plan
One of the essential aspects of estate planning is conducting occasional reviews. Depending on the complexity of your estate, you may want to conduct a review anywhere from annually to every five years.
Once you initiate a review, you need to approach the job with a checklist. An estate planning attorney will encourage you to examine these four potential issues during each review.
It's important to keep tabs on both the executor of the estate and the successor. Before you get too far into your estate planning review, contact both people. Let them know you're doing a review, and then ask about their current condition. You want to be fairly confident the administrators of your estate will be in good enough physical and mental condition to handle the job. Directly ask if they believe they're still going to be able and available to execute the estate if needed.
Also, take the time to update their contact information. Likewise, update them on your current contact information and the contacts for your attorney.
The above issues apply to any beneficiaries of the estate. You'll find an extra layer because family members will experience life events. They might have kids, marry, or divorce. Also, they could pass away. Especially if you want to make sure your estate benefits your descendants, it's important to keep up with developments.
If you have organizations as beneficiaries, it's wise to catch up with those, too. Don't assume, for example, that even a huge charity might not undergo some changes. The corporation could rebrand or move. If you want to be sure an organization will benefit, verify that the estate's documents properly identify them.
Assets and Liabilities
Even the most financially stable folks will see changes in their assets and liabilities. For example, you might pay off your mortgage and then take out a line of credit against your home. In that scenario, you'd want to be sure any estate funds aimed at retiring an unpaid mortgage are recommitted at appropriate levels for covering the line of credit.
Similarly, it's prudent to itemize all of your assets and debts. Make sure you have copies of titles and deeds where appropriate. Also, when you itemize your debts, contact the creditors and update their information.
Changes in Estate Law
While estate law rarely undergoes significant changes, you'll want to keep your will up to date. An estate planning professional should be up on what's happening in the field so simply ask them to confirm the terms of your documents are still compliant with current rules.