As my clients often hear me say, estate planning should be viewed as a process rather than a one-time event. Personal and financial circumstances change. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate your will, trust, health care power of attorney, and other estate plan documents periodically in light of all such changes and make revisions when appropriate. In other words, plan, review, and update.

While a comprehensive estate plan review every two or three years sounds sufficient, I recommend an annual review for greatest protection and peace of mind. A good time to kick the tires, so to speak, of your will and other estate plan documents is at the very beginning or very end of the year as you conduct other tax, insurance, or financial planning.

As a partial guide, the events listed below likely signal an estate plan update is in order.

  • Marriage, divorce, or separation
  • Birth or adoption
  • Death, disability, or serious illness
  • Retirement or unemployment
  • Increase or decrease in asset values
  • Acquisition of real estate in another state
  • Change in business interests
  • Move to another state
  • Changes in state and federal laws

Resist taking a “set it and forget it” approach to estate planning. Review your estate plan annually and make revisions to accommodate changes in personal and financial circumstances. For more information on updating your will, trust, or other estate plan document and to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact our office today at (704) 887-4944 or to schedule a consultation.

Starrett Law Firm is a Charlotte estate planning, probate, and business law firm in Ballantyne that serves clients across the greater Charlotte area and North Carolina. We help clients understand complex legal principles and make sound decisions that protect them as well as their families or businesses. For more information about the firm, please visit our website at

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