All New York residents can benefit from having an estate plan, no matter how young or old.

It is commonly assumed that estate plans, wills, and trusts are necessary when someone is old, near death, or becomes incapacitated.

However, as recent events have taught us all, nobody can predict the future, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

That being said, creating your estate plan – sooner and not later – is only the first step. Indeed, as your life changes, so should your estate plan.

First, you should update your will when you move to another state. Laws differ from state to state and your plan may not meet the nuances of the new state’s law. State laws often vary in matters of spouse inheritance, advance medical directives, powers of attorney and living wills.

Second, your will should be adapted and changed if a new grandchild, child, or spouse is added to the family. These new family members should be specifically included and named in the documents. There may also be a divorce or death in the family. In this instance, that person must be removed from the estate plan entirely.

Third, your will should be altered if your liabilities or assets change. Any time the value of your estate decreases or increases significantly, you should review how your property is split and make an updated decision about how your assets are divided. If you sell an asset, like a piece of real estate property or a business, your will should be changed.

It is a good rule of thumb to review your estate plan every three years to make sure the decisions are still relevant. A good estate planning attorney can help you get your will up to date.