The estate planning documents that someone drafts remain valid, in most cases, until they replace or update them. However, existing estate planning documents do require occasional reviews and updates.
Families with minor children often have multiple, overlapping concerns to address in their estate plans. Parents want to ensure that there is someone to take care of their children if anything happens to them, such as a guardian, and they also want to provide financial support for their children in the event that they pass before they become adults. You may also want to update your documents if a beneficiary has passed, as it will avoid delay in the probate process and your beneficiaries receiving their inheritance. Updating estate plans when the family adds new children to the household, parents divorce or the family acquires significant new resources is crucial to estate planning.
Changing circumstances alter the best protections
The ever-changing relationships that the parents in a family have with each other and extended family members will influence what documents they need to include in their estate plans, what beneficiaries will inherit from their estates and what people they name to positions of authority.
A bad relationship with a sibling might force someone to reconsider their guardian designations, for example. Or, if you have married someone and now your families have mixed, you may have reason to worry that the children will fight in your absence. Parents who continue to review and update their estate plans frequently as their lives change will have the greatest success in their attempts to provide for their children and their grandchildren. Creating and frequently revisiting an estate plan with the assistance of an experienced legal professional throughout your life is essential.