Creating a will is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your loved ones are cared for if something happens to you. Once you have everything written out, you might be tempted to ignore the plan; however, you will still need to review it periodically. You may find that you need to change the document.

Try to go over the estate plan every one to two years, even if you don’t have any major life changes during that time. You might realize that some facets of the plan need to change. For example, you might decide that the person who has power of attorney for your health care decisions isn’t who you want to make decisions for you if you’re incapacitated.

There are several life events that should trigger you to review the document. Making sure that you give it a once-over as soon as these occur can help you ensure that it still represents your wishes.

  • You have a child, get married or go through a divorce because heirs and beneficiaries may change
  • Your child turns 18 years old, gets married or has a child because you may need to alter the plan
  • You get rid of some possessions or acquire new ones because you need to cover your current possessions
  • You move to a new state because wills are subject to the laws of the state where you live, not where it was created
  • You want to support a new charity so you can include it in the estate plan
  • Heirs or beneficiaries pass away because you need to remove them from the plan

You must ensure that your updated will complies with the applicable state laws. You can also review other aspects of the estate plan, including trusts, to ensure that they are still set how you want them.