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When and why you should update your estate plan

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2022 | Wills & Estates

A Pennsylvania estate plan is a live document, not something to create, then forget. To do the job you want it to, you must update it periodically. If your estate plan is more than three years old, you should review it and make necessary changes.

According to CNBC, reviewing your estate plan after a major life event can help you keep it up-to-date and effective. If tax laws have changed since you last updated your documents, they might benefit from revisions. Here are some other considerations when reviewing your will or estate plan.


Each state has estate planning statutes. Many require that your spouse inherit a minimum share of your estate. In some states, you may need to change your advance medical directives and living will. If you relocated since the creation of your estate plan or have real estate in multiple states, you may need to update your primary residence. You may also require an executor in the secondary location.


Add your new spouse if you have divorced and remarried since you last reviewed your estate plan. You might also have a new grandchild or in-law that you wish reflected in your will. If any of your heirs died or became estranged from the family, you may update the estate plan accordingly.

Some assets, such as life insurance policies, retirement plans and 401(k)s, pass outside of the will. Reviewing these accounts when you update your estate plan can help ensure that you have everything in order should you become unexpectedly incapacitated.

An executor has a big job. This is the person who carries out your wishes upon your passing. If you still want the person you originally named in your will, make sure they are up to the task. By updating your will or estate plan, you can leave a legacy for your loved ones that lasts long after you are gone.