J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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The importance of keeping an estate plan up-to-date

Some Florida residents may be surprised to learn that planning an estate is just the beginning. A successful estate plan often demands constant updates. Such a plan should always reflect a person's current living situation. This means that simply completing an estate plan and forgetting about it often will not suffice. In fact, it can prove to be quite damaging.

According to one article, sometimes having an estate plan that does not reflect a person's current living situation can be more harmful than having no plan at all. This is why, in general, it is prudent to check in with an estate planner every year or so. After all, a lot can happen in a year -- a person may get divorced, have a child, remarry, or experience any number of changes in a living situation.

Some may be uncertain as to when such an update is necessary. One article suggests asking a couple of questions that may help a person decide when to update an estate plan. One such question to ask is whether there has been a change in a person's living situation. As mentioned before, if a person has divorced or if a new child has been brought into the family, these changes demand an update. It is also helpful to ask if the right people are in charge. If an estate has become larger or more complicated, it may be necessary to name new executors who are better suited for the task.

These are just a couple estate planning questions that a person should ask every year or so. By being diligent with the estate planning process, it is possible to keep a plan up-to-date and ensure that a person's wishes are carried out.

Source: Investing Daily, "Knowing When to Update Your Plan," Bob Carlson, June 4, 2014

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