Changes to your HEALTH
If you lose the capacity to sign legal documents, your family may be stuck with an under performing estate plan that cannot be fixed. The general trend of your health and your ability to make decisions will usually not improve over time, so don’t put off updating your estate plan. You should dust it off and talk about it with your trusted advisors at least once a year for as long as you are in your right mind.
Changes to your ASSETS
All of your assets must be properly titled in order for your estate plan to work properly. If you have a revocable living trust, just about all of your assets should be owned by your trust. If the status of one major asset changes, your whole estate plan could be thrown off course.
Changes to your FAMILY SITUATION
Whenever there is a marriage, divorce, birth or death in your family, you should consider how those events could affect your estate plan. That is unless you are okay with your assets ending up in the hands of someone you would
prefer did not receive them, such as your ex-son-in-law.
Changes to your WISHES
Over time, you will change your mind about who you trust and where you want your assets to go, and your estate plan must reflect those changes. If you do not state your wishes in writing, they will not be carried out.
Changes to the LAW
The law has changed dramatically over the past several years, and while those changes have generated uncertainty, they also give rise to opportunities. You will never seize those opportunities if you ignore them. Not only that, but the law will not always change in ways that benefit you and your loved ones. Especially when “bad” changes happen, you need to be on top of them and adjust your estate plan accordingly.
Review your estate plan at least once a year so you can stay on top of changes and make the updates that could make a huge difference for you and your ‘ohana. Estate planning is an ongoing process, not an event.