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So You've Got an Estate Plan, But Is It Still Accurate?

We talk a lot about getting in early and seeing someone regarding your estate plan. This is 100 percent true - it is rarely ever too early to start planning for your future, the future of a spouse or the wellbeing of loved ones. Even if you do not own a large amount of assets, having something like a will in your back pocket can provide a significant measure of mental ease.

Say you have been proactive and set up an estate plan. Years from considering advanced healthcare directives and other, more specific, end-of-life planning, you still have your assets accounted for and protected.

Let's fast forward five years. Have your assets increased? Maybe you've bought a home, new car or have a larger family. Does your estate plan from five years ago still accurately reflect your current situation?

For most people, the answer will likely be no. Matt Wallace writes in The Times Herald, "At a minimum, you should review your plan each year to make sure it continues to meet your needs."

This would be ideal, but a yearly review is probably not realistic for most people. If you can't afford the time, or don't want to review your estate plan every year, the least you can do is check in on it after major changes in family or estate.

For example, buying a house would be a significant life event that would most likely necessitate major modifications to your estate plan. Having a child would be another major event that you might want to account for in your will.

Just because you've planned ahead and set up an estate plan early, that doesn't mean that you're done planning forever.

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