The main considerations of estate planning are understanding implications associated with forms of property ownership, establishing clear goals for distribution of assets, and minimizing estate and income taxes within this framework. When an estate plan is completed and all the proper documents are executed, it is important to recognize that estate planning is not a one-and-done process. Reviewing your estate plan periodically, especially when major life events occur, helps ensure that your financial and personal legacy is passed on according to your wishes, allowing your beneficiaries to receive their benefits as smoothly as possible.

What documents may need to be updated or added to your estate plan?

  • Wills
  • Letters of Instruction
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills / Medical Directives
  • Living Trusts
  • Beneficiary Designations on life insurance policies, retirement plans and other financial assets
  • Irrevocable trusts

How often should I review my estate plan?

We recommend reviewing your current estate plan every 3-5 years to discuss any potential updates.

What specific events should trigger an estate plan review?

  • Life events like a birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, illness/disability, relocation, or death.
  • Significant financial events like a major purchase, job change, or inheritance.
  • Other external events like changes in federal or state laws covering taxes and investments.

If you are uncertain whether it is time to update your estate documents, feel free to reach out for a conversation with your Eagle Ridge financial planner. We can help review your existing plans and determine whether a joint meeting with your attorney would be advisable.