A specific rule does not exist regarding how often an asset owner in New York should take a look at his or her estate plan. However, some basic guidelines exist for reviewing wills and other estate planning documents. Here is a glimpse at them.
Asset owners generally would be wise to pore over their estate planning documents every three or four years. Reading through these documents is essential for them to make sure that they still support the documents’ basic provisions. For instance, they can ascertain that the individuals they chose years ago to be their powers of attorney, personal representatives or trustees are the same individuals they would select today. Likewise, asset owners during their estate plan reviews can see if they still desire the same individuals to inherit their assets.
Even if no document changes appear to be necessary following an estate plan review, it may behoove an asset owner to have an estate planning attorney review his or her documents every four or five years. This is important given the fact that the law is constantly changing. However, in addition to regularly checking their estate plans every few years, asset owners may want to immediately update their plans following a few major life events, such as getting married, experiencing a major financial situation change, or giving birth to a child.
People in New York oftentimes prefer not to engage in estate planning simply because it seems to be a morbid task. However, creating and updating wills and other estate planning documents is critical for ensuring that their assets end up in the intended hands when they die. An attorney can help those who own assets to put together and maintain documents that accurately reflect their wishes and their loved ones’ best interests long-term.