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Frequency of estate planning updates

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning in Oregon is an ongoing process. Creating the necessary documents is just the first step. Circumstances can change over time, potentially rendering the initial plan unfulfillable. For example, heirs and beneficiaries may predecease the testator, meaning that they cannot inherit. 

CNN Money recommends that, at minimum, a testator should review and update his or her will on a yearly basis. During the review, the testator should check that the will and other estate planning documents remain current and still reflect his or her wishes. 

Between the time that a person makes his or her estate plan and the time of his or her death, a number of major life events are likely to occur. Some of these events are positive, such as the birth of a child or grandchild or the marriage of the testator or a relative. Some of these events are negative, such as the death or divorce of a loved one or a serious injury to the testator or a family member. According to Forbes, these types of events, positive and negative, are good opportunities to review one’s estate plan to ensure that it is current. 

It can also be a good idea to review one’s estate plan when moving to a new state. The rules that determine a will’s validity can vary by jurisdiction. Therefore, a will that met the criteria in one state may no longer be valid after the move. Other occasions in which it might be appropriate to update one’s estate plan include buying or selling a business or receiving an inheritance. 

On the other hand, one does not necessarily need a major life event to update one’s estate plan. Sometimes the testator may simply change his or her mind about something and update the plan to reflect that.