Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: How Often Should I Update My Estate Plan?

Question: How often should I update my estate plan?

Answer: For a lot of people, the most difficult part of the estate plan is getting started. As a general rule, I recommend having your estate plan reviewed and updated as needed every 5-7 years.

Aside from the review, there are a number of situations that are likely to necessitate an update.

  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce (usually automatically revokes a Will in favor of spouse)
  • Remarriage (could revoke the Will)
  • Substantial change in assets/net worth
  • Tax law changes
  • Birth of a child/children
  • Death of fiduciaries named in your documents

It is important that your documents reflect your wishes and consider any changes in your life. Older documents should be reviewed, including documents prepared in other states.

Comment: Keep in mind that documents that no longer reflect your wishes could be worse than having no documents!

As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please let me know.



As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Steve Shane at or 301.575.0313.


Steve Shane Casual | 301.575.0313

Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.





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