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How (and when) to update your estate plan


I advise Iowans to review estate plans on an annual basis. Simply check in with your lawyer, and other professional advisors, every year or so.

Some clients like to do this around the first of the year, others choose to do so on a birthday or wedding anniversary, still others pick a random date. Any date will work, just stick with it every year.

When I say “estate plan,” I mean, broadly speaking, the five “must have” legal documents — will, healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney, disposition of personal property, and disposition of final remains.

Seek professional help to update your estate plan most especially when you undergo a major life change. Consult professional advisors about your estate plan when, to take a few of the most prominent examples:

You marry or divorce.

A birth or death occurs among your family or close friends or other beneficiaries of your estate.

There is a change in the value and/or kind of property you own (such as, receiving an inheritance of some kind, or doing right-sizing as retirement age approaches).

You move to another state, or another country, or you acquire significant property in another state or country. (A common example of this is buying a second home, a vacation home).

A person you chose to be a guardian, trustee, or executor dies.

Any of these changes require careful (re)analysis of your estate plan.

If you have any questions or concerns, reach out any time. Contact me here.

And, if you want to organize your estate plan, or update your existing estate plan, check out my Estate Planning Questionnaire, simply click here.


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