Understanding the different types of estate planning tools that can help with an effective estate plan is important but it is also important to know when to update an estate plan once one has been put in place. Different life changes and circumstances may trigger the need to update an estate plan and estate planners should be familiar with what those circumstances are.

In general, it is time to update an estate plan if it is more than three years old. Reviewing an estate plan every three years can help ensure it is current and reflects the current circumstances, needs and wishes of the estate planner. In addition, a major move should also occasion a review of an estate plan. Likewise, a major change in the marital status of relationship status of the estate planner should also occasion a review of the estate planner’s estate plan. They may also wish to make guardianship changes at that time.

Other circumstances that should occasion another look at the estate planner’s estate plan include if the assets and liabilities of the estate planner change or if their retirement plan becomes outdated. Other changes related to executors or trustees and those relationships may also warrant an update of the estate planner’s estate plan.

Getting an estate plan set up is important for everyone to do. Equally important, however, is updating an estate plan to accommodate changes in the estate planner’s life. Estate planning is an important topic to understand and legal tools and resources are available to help estate planners do that and set up an estate plan that works for them and continues to work for them down the road.