Once you create an estate plan, you should review it every year or so to ensure it reflects your current situation.
Several family situations will require you to take another look at your plan, regardless of when you last reviewed it.
You marry or divorce
Once you marry, you will share ownership of most assets with your spouse, so when you die, they might go to them. If you have children from a previous relationship, you may want to ringfence specific assets for your kids. A prenuptial can help here, but you could also place the assets in a trust before you marry. That way, they are no longer your assets, so they will not become your spouses. Instead they are held in the trust for your children.
Divorcing also requires an estate planning revision, as you won’t own the same amount of things anymore as you will lose some during property division.
A family member dies
If your parents die, you might inherit things. While you will hopefully live for many years after your parents, there are no guarantees, so adding your newly inherited assets to your estate plan ensures they are accounted for if something happens to you.
Failing to do this could lead to a dispute between your heirs, especially if what your parents leave you has significant value.
People often nominate family members for roles such as guardians, executors or powers of attorney. So if someone you named dies, you must replace them to ensure your estate plan remains effective.
You have a child
Whether it is your first child, or a subsequent one, you likely want them to receive something when you die.
Consider legal help if you are unsure whether it is time to update your estate plan.