Creating an estate plan can help to ensure that your final wishes are carried out in a timely manner after you die. However, it is important to review your will, trust or other plan documents regularly after they are created. This can help to ensure that they meet your needs while also complying with Illinois law.
Review your plan after a major life event
If you have just become a parent for the first time, it’s important to name a guardian for your son or daughter in your will. It may also be a good idea to create a trust that can hold assets for your child until he or she is old enough to legally inherit them. If you have just gotten married, it may be necessary to name your spouse as the beneficiary to a 401(k), life insurance policy or bank account.
Schedule an annual review
At a minimum, you should review your estate plan at least once each year. This allows you to ensure that beneficiary designations are correct, the right people are included in your will and that a trust has been properly funded. An estate planning attorney may be able to assist in the process of looking over existing plan documents. The attorney may also help draft new documents or make changes to those already in existence.
Let others know about your goals
In addition to reviewing your plan documents on a regular basis, be sure to schedule conversations with those who stand to benefit from your estate. As a general rule, your immediate family members, financial advisers and attorney should have a good idea as to what your plan goals are at all times.
While you can create a will, trust or other documents on your own, it may be better to have them drafted by an attorney. This may minimize the odds that your affairs won’t be settled quickly after your passing.