Here's Why You Should Regularly Update Your Estate Plan

As you plan to eat healthier, exercise more, or lose weight, remember that updating your estate plan should also be included in your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Those who do a comprehensive job in planning their estate likely did so to ensure that their final wishes become reality. However, sometimes life and the law change, affecting estate plans in different ways. The best way to ensure your final wishes remain intact is to review your estate plan annually, and for many, the start of a new year is the perfect time to do so. Below are the top reasons you should update your estate plan annually.

  1. Your will should be up-to-date. When reviewing your will, you should consider any changes to your life and/or circumstances. The most obvious life changes include the birth or death of a family member, but other life changes should be considered as well. For example, if you’ve designated in your will that you’re leaving your home to a relative but you’ve recently sold the home, then your will needs to be updated.
  2. Make sure everything is included. While many people consider high-value monetary items, such as the house, car, and other assets, items with sentimental value, either overlooked from the original plan or new to your estate, should be added. Also, you should add up-to-date digital assets (passwords, documents, photos, video files, etc.) to your estate plan.
  3. Ensure your will is legally binding. There are several reasons a will could be contested in Michigan, therefore it is always a good idea to have an attorney review your will to make sure it is legally binding. Even a binding will could be subject to new laws which could affect its legality.
  4. Update your financial affairs. You may wish to create an updated list of typical monthly bills and write down account numbers and passwords to assist your executor. Consider documenting all relevant information, including items such as Internet-based subscriptions, automatic deductions on credit cards, automatic utility payments, and other obligations for which there’s no monthly bill.
  5. Make sure you have care lined up for your survivors. If your circumstances have changed and you now provide care for a loved one it’s important to have a plan in place regarding who will care for your child or another dependent after you’re gone. Don’t forget to formalize your wishes about the care for your pets as well.

Help is available

The estate planning attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio offer comprehensive planning and administrative services to individuals and families. To speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Estate Planning, Wills