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When exactly is a good time to update an estate plan?

Estate plans are highly personal endeavors. Because each Michigan family is different, there may not be an exact day or month that is appropriate for the updating of an estate plan. However, many leading experts agree there are specific life or family events that require updates be made to estate plans. They also suggest a certain time of year that may be appropriate for many people.

December and the other winter months may be a good time. One reason is that winter is the time of year when a lot of people get engaged, ready to take the next steps toward becoming couples by joining assets and future plans. There is also a rise in divorces after the December holidays, and divorce is always a definite reason to update any kind of established estate plan.

Certain milestones, regardless of when they occur, warrant revisiting an existing estate plan. For example, the birth or adoption of a child or grandchild necessitates changes to a plan. If one person has become disabled or has had a real change in health, an estate plan may need to be updated to reflect those changes or to outline care for that individual. One suggestion relevant to everyone is to review a plan if it has been two-to-five years since there was any kind of review or change.

The exact details of an estate plan are personal and created to meet the specific needs of the plan's creator. While a plan may work well for a Michigan family one year, certain life events may deem it outdated, or worse yet -- something to which a family is deeply opposed. By taking steps to know when is a good time to update and making strides to ensure wishes are outlined and accurate, a Michigan family can feel confident in knowing that the plan that is place can evolve as needed.

Source:, "Updating your estate planning", Brittany Lake, Feb. 23, 2016

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