An up-to-date estate plan is as necessary as the estate plan itself. As you prepare for the future, setting up an estate plan is crucial to ensure all your assets are handled after you pass.

You can make sure you have a current estate plan with regular updates. With an updated plan, you reduce the likelihood of your estate ending up in messy probate litigation.

Here are four significant situations in which you should consider revising your estate plan:

  1. Relationship change: If you have gotten married, divorced, or remarried, you should update your plan to reflect your most current desires. Most couples will leave their homes or financial assets to their spouse, and you may want to remove an ex from your plan if that’s the case.
  2. Family growth or loss: Over the years, you have welcomed grandchildren or in-laws or even stepchildren to your family. You want to leave the people you love something special after you pass, whether it’s setting up a college fund for a grandkid or valuable jewelry to an important daughter-in-law. Likewise, if you have lost a family member such as a spouse or child, you may need to remove them from the plan and redistribute anything you originally planned to leave behind to them to someone else.
  3. Major assets acquisition: Since the last time you updated your estate plan, you may have received an inheritance, started a business or bought a new home. Any large assets such as this should be a part of your estate plan. You can assign an heir to your business along with a succession plan or create a trust for a monetary inheritance that will pass onto the trustee after your death.
  4. Relocation: When you move to another state, you will likely have to update your estate plan. Each state has specific laws surrounding estate plans, so you must revise your plan to ensure it follows the new state rules.

As the years pass, it’s essential to take the time to review your estate plan and add or remove anything that no longer applies. An estate plan is a crucial way to arrange for the future, and with a suitably updated plan in place, you can rest easy knowing your loved ones will follow your wishes.