Good estate planning program calls for five-year review

In Minnesota, like everywhere else, it is beneficial for people to create a plan for the distribution of their assets to loved ones both during life and after death. For those who do not have an estate plan, it is not too late to consult with an estate planning attorney and get the ball rolling forward. For those who already have a plan in place, they need to remember to check their plans for updates at least every five years.

The review and updating procedure is extremely important – the changes in one’s life in this fast-paced technological revolution can come fast and unexpectedly. If there has been a major life change, such as a divorce and/or a remarriage, or even the death of an important family member, it’s definitely time for one to review his or her planning documents. Important transformations may have occurred but not kept pace with legal requirements. These must be identified and changed accordingly.

If a person finds a steady increase or even a dramatic increase in income and corresponding savings and investment accounts, again it is time to evaluate these new circumstances in light of one’s wishes and plans for the future. Some basic housekeeping must also be done. Check all beneficiaries listed on life insurance policies and on any other accounts with a payment-at-death provision.

In addition, other basics such as changed addresses, cell phone data, websites, data storage, asset sales, new acquisitions, and the like, must be evaluated for the potential of retooling into a current, updated estate plan. Furthermore, the estate planning documents such as health care proxies and powers of attorney must be reviewed and made current. Residents of Minnesota will obtain peace mind by doing these simple procedures to ensure the security and accuracy of their estate planning efforts.

Source:, “Updating your estate plan: When to review it and what you should review“, Glen Harding, Sept. 7, 2016

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