Have you ever stopped to think how long ago you did something, then realize it’s been much longer than you thought? Old or outdated estate planning documents can fall into this category and may be confusing for your family or attorney to determine your exact intent at the time they were created.

If you have had any of the following happen since you created your estate plan, you might require some updates:

  • Death of family member
  • Marriage (you or your children)
  • Divorces
  • Births
  • Children becoming adults
  • Changes in beneficiaries’ financial needs
  • Accumulated wealth; real estate transactions
  • Changes in state or federal laws

The above are just a few! You should also review your documents to make sure that the persons you nominated to act as personal representative, trustee, or agent in your powers of attorney are still the best fit for present circumstances. Oftentimes a small change can be made, either with a codicil to your will or an amendment to your trust, without creating all new documents. However, if changes are more extensive, you will want new documents. Take a look at your estate plan and be sure that everything is still relevant and no changes are needed. Contact your planning attorney if you want to bring them up-to-date. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”