My husband is such a procrastinator! He reads your column every month but does not think we need to review our estate documents. He doesn’t believe that anything has changed in the last seven years. How often should these documents be reviewed?
-Second Opinion on Stewart Way
Dear Second Opinion on Stewart:
It’s terrific that you have an estate plan, but it’s even better to maintain it! Regular maintenance of your documents means that they are more likely to actually “work” when the time comes.
There is no one answer to this question. But, you should generally have a review when: (1) you have moved, consolidated accounts, changed banks or jobs; (2) there has been a birth, death of divorce in your family; (3) you or your spouse are diagnosed with a condition; (4) you move in with a new partner after previously being married for many years; and (5) you inherit money.
Three years ago, there was a major law change, necessitating a review for most married clients.
Most folks need a review every 4 years to catch errors and make updates. These reviews keep your “estate planning machine” running smoothly. Whether you want a review of another attorney’s documents or ones I have drafted, call or email if you would like to meet.