An estate plan needs to be reviewed periodically

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Friday, January 22, 2016.

Many Pennsylvania residents believe that once they execute their estate planning documents they do not have to worry about them again. Unfortunately, that assumption could be disastrous, since people's lives rarely remain the same as they were when their original documents were signed. An estate plan needs to be reviewed periodically to be sure that the documents' provisions still express the wishes of an individual.

For example, babies are born, marriages fail and marriages begin. When these and other life events occur, estate planning documents might need to be changed in order to keep up with them. Few people would want their ex-spouses to inherit portions of their estates, but, if documents are not updated after a divorce, it could happen. Furthermore, when people become grandparents, they might want to include their grandchildren in their wills and/or trusts.

When an individual remarries, he or she might want to ensure that children from a prior relationship will still inherit. At the same time, that individual might want to provide for the new spouse as well. It is also possible that an heir or beneficiary could die before him or her. In that case, an adjustment to the documents would need to be made in order to compensate for that occurrence.

Therefore, it is not only the circumstances of the Pennsylvania resident creating the estate plan that could necessitate changes to an individual's plan, but also the lives of heirs and beneficiaries. Fortunately, nearly every document in an estate plan can be changed. When life changes, estate planning documents can change as well.

Source:, "Keeping your estate plan up-to-date", Dan Carcione, Jan. 15, 2016


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