How Often Should I Review my Estate Planning Documents?

Clients often ask this question. Certainly, you should take a look at the documents at least every five years. As you read through your trust or will, durable power of attorney and patient advocate designation, you should ask yourself the following questions. Has anything changed? Do I still want to appoint the same people? Are these the people that I want to give my estate to?

Also you should review all of your estate planning documents when any of the following happens:

• Marriage, divorce or death of a spouse
• Birth of a child
• Your children become financially independent
• Birth of a grandchild
• You have a new business venture
• A substantial growth in your business
• Job promotion or change in jobs
• Retirement
• Purchase of Life Insurance
• Move to a different state
• Substantial increase or decrease in your wealth
• Decision to make large charitable gifts
• Increase in risk of being subject to a lawsuit
• Substantial amounts of property in joint names
• Purchase of real estate in another state
• You inherit a large estate



Linda E. Wasielewski is a solo practice lawyer located in Traverse City focusing upon Estate Planning and Probate Law, providing legal services in Northern Michigan

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