MoneyDo: Review Your Estate Plan


Estate planning, like financial planning, is an ongoing and evolving process that requires regular check-ins and reviews to ensure everything is in order. In a few prior MoneyDos, we’ve discussed the importance of account titling and beneficiary designations so that everything with your estate plan is aligned.

Your MoneyDo this week: Review Your Estate Plan. It’s important to remember that experiencing certain key life events should prompt you to dust off your estate planning documents and review them, like:

  • Changes in family status, such as death of a named fiduciary, beneficiary or spouse or divorces, marriages or births of additional family members;
  • Change of your primary residence to a different state;
  • Changes in your financial situation, such as changes in your employment status, including retirement, sale or transition of your closely-held business, or an inheritance;
  • Changes in your health or insurance coverage (health, life, etc…);
  • Changes in tax laws that may impact inheritance of funds, which could include income, gift and/or estate taxes changes; and
  • The passing of time itself. Make sure you’re updating approximately every three (3) years to make sure you have a good understanding, and everything is in order.

When you review your estate plan, your review should include:

  • Reading all the documents.
  • Knowing who is named in all the various roles within your estate plan (i.e. your power of attorney, executor, trustee, etc.) including the backup people to make sure they are still appropriate.
  • Understanding who your beneficiaries are and how they will inherit assets from you.
  • Reviewing your account titles and beneficiary designations.

If you need assistance conducting the review on your own, you can reach out to your wealth manager, attorney or accountant to help provide you some guidance.