Having at least a basic will with advanced directives is a wonderful start to the estate planning process, but once you have those in place, how often do you update them? I often help clients who have not updated their wills for quite some time. There are few items to keep in mind when it comes to updating these documents.
Changes to your family structure: Marriages, divorces, births and deaths are times to rethink your will. These events change your potential beneficiaries, and it is wise to ensure that your will reflects your current wishes.
Changes in financial circumstances: Any time your financial circumstances change, either for better or for worse, it is time to reexamine your estate planning to ensure it fits with your new financial situation.
Changes to your health: Whenever you have a change in your health status it is time to think about your advanced directives and your estate plan in general. Is your designated health care surrogate someone you would still choose? Is your durable power of attorney up to date? Are the directives in your living will still your wishes? These are things to think about and discuss with your estate planning attorney.
If you have experienced any of the above changes, or if it has been more than five years since you have updated your will and advanced directives, you should review your estate plan to make sure your wishes are still the same. An estate planning attorney can help you consider your wishes and plan for the future. Contact us for a free estate planning consultation.