You know your car requires regular maintenance in order to perform well and be reliable.  When you purchased your car, you most likely received a recommended schedule for service.  If you follow that schedule, most likely your car will continue to work well – if not, you could be in trouble.

Did you know that your estate plan needs to be “serviced” on a regular basis?  Your estate plan is a snapshot of your life the way it was at the time it was created, but over time, your family structure, your assets, and as we’ve recently seen, the tax laws change.  You should set a schedule to have your plan reviewed to make sure it doesn’t let you down.

So, when should you have your estate plan serviced? Any change in your personal, family, financial, or health situation should prompt you to review your estate plan.  But, in general, I recommend that you pick a date that you will remember to review the plan each year.  Your cue to remember this might be a birthday, and anniversary, or maybe when the time changes – check your fire alarm batteries and your estate plan!

As a guide, I have given you a few events that might trigger a review of your plan:

You and Your Spouse

  • Marry, divorce, or separate;
  • Health declines;
  • Value of assets change dramatically;
  • Have a change in business interests; or
  • Buy real estate in another state.

Your Family

  • Birth or adoption;
  • Marriage or divorce;
  • Finances change;
  • Parent or other relative become dependent on you;
  • Minor becomes an adult;
  • Attitudes toward you change; or
  • Family member passes away.


  • Federal or state tax laws change;
  • You plan to move to a different state;
  • Your successor trustee, guardian, or administrator moves, becomes ill, or otherwise becomes unavailable; or
  • You change your mind.

I hope that this list gives you an idea of whether or not you need to review your plan.  As always, if I can be of any help, don’t hesitate to give me a call!