Creating an estate plan can be an overwhelming exercise, especially if you have a large family, numerous assets, or both. You may think creating your estate plan can feel like an item that you can check off of your list, once and done, and not think about again.
However, an estate plan is not a “set it and forget it” series of documents. You may not need to update it regularly. However, in some circumstances, it is essential to review your plan and ensure it accurately reflects your wishes.
Here are two scenarios when you may need to revise your estate plan.
When relationships change
As you get older, relationships with your friends and family will change. While you do not need to make changes after every family squabble, some situations may signal that it is time to make a change.
One of the most common relationship changes is marital status. Whether you are starting a relationship or ending one, it is time to make estate plan adjustments.
It is important to note that, in Florida, when you get a divorce, your assets will most likely not go to your ex, even if you did not update your will. If you make no adjustments, assets that would have gone to your spouse will likely follow the rules of intestate succession.
When your assets change
A change in assets does not always mean you need to update your estate plan. When your plan includes more general designations like “household item” or “all vehicles,” a new asset that falls in an established category may not warrant an update.
However, when you acquire a specific asset or one that is not covered by a category of assets in your current will, you may need to make a change. Assets like new vehicles or vacation homes can raise questions during probate if they are not addressed in the will.