After creating your estate plan, you likely do not want to see it again for some time. After all, the act of creating an estate plan can take up enormous amounts of time and effort.
However, you cannot simply leave your estate plan as-is for the rest of your life. You should periodically review it. But how do you know when the time is right?
Establishing regular reviews
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel discusses reviews of your estate plan. In essence, while no laws currently exist to dictate when you should review your estate plan or in what way you should do it, most sources currently indicate that you should review your plan once every 3 to 5 years.
This gives you enough time so that you do not feel overwhelmed by the amount of reviewing you have to do, while also allowing you to refresh your memory on what you may have written before. You can easily see at this point if you need to make any changes that perhaps escaped your mind before.
Paying mind to major changes
However, if your life undergoes significant changes in one of three areas, you should review your estate plan and potentially make changes as soon as possible. These areas include your finances, your personal relations, and your location.
Regarding the first two, your assets get divided among your beneficiaries after your death. This means if you gain or lose money, or gain or lose people in your life, your estate plan should change to reflect that.
For the second, many states have their own way of handling estates, so you want to ensure your current location still considers your estate plan valid if you move.