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When Should I Update My Trust?

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It is essential to recognize that estate planning is not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process that should evolve alongside changes in your life circumstances and wishes. While there isn't a fixed timetable for when you should update your estate plan, several key life events may signal the need for a review.

  • Marriage, Divorce, or Remarriage:

Whether you're tying the knot, dissolving a marriage, or entering into a new union, these events will significantly impact your estate planning goals and objectives. Updating your plan ensures that your assets are distributed according to your current wishes and that any provisions related to your spouse are aligned with your intentions.

  • Birth or Adoption of a Child or Grandchild:

With the birth or adoption of a child or grandchild, you may need to make provisions for their care and inheritance. This should involve establishing trusts, designating guardians, or adjusting beneficiary designations to accommodate your growing family.

  • Death of a Spouse, Family Member, or Beneficiary:

The loss of a loved one can have profound implications for your estate plan. Whether it's the passing of a spouse, family member, or named beneficiary, it's crucial to revisit your plan to reflect these changes. This may involve updating beneficiary designations, revising distribution plans, or appointing new fiduciaries to fulfill roles previously held by the deceased.

  • Changes in Financial Situation or Assets:

Significant fluctuations in your financial situation or the acquisition of new assets should prompt a review of your estate plan. Whether you've experienced a windfall, started a new business venture, or undergone a substantial change in income, it's essential to ensure that your plan reflects your current financial landscape. This may involve updating asset titling, revising wealth transfer strategies, or implementing tax-efficient planning techniques.

  • Relocation to Another State or Country:

Moving to a new state or country can introduce legal and jurisdictional complexities that may impact your estate plan. Each jurisdiction has its own laws governing estate planning, taxation, and probate, so it's crucial to review your plan upon relocation to ensure compliance and effectiveness in your new domicile.

In summary, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to update your estate plan. Staying vigilant and proactive in monitoring changes in your life circumstances, family dynamics, and the legal landscape can help ensure that your plan remains current, effective, and aligned with your goals. At the Law Offices of Leslie Sultan, P.C., we are committed to helping our clients navigate these complexities and providing the guidance and support they need to protect their legacy for generations to come. Schedule a review of your estate plan with us today to ensure your wishes are accurately reflected and your loved ones are provided for according to your intentions.

About the Author

Leslie has been practicing law since 2009 and is the host of the estate planning podcast 'Legacy Purse'. She has a long history of representing family members struggling to inherit property and/or wealth from deceased family members through the Probate Courts. Knowing how time-consuming and expensive the probate process is, Leslie takes great pride in helping her clients learn how to plan and protect their families during their lives so they can avoid the probate court process and save their loved ones that additional grief (and expense).


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