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When should I update my estate plan?

At what age do you think is acceptable to start drafting your estate plan? If you're like a lot of people across the nation, you may have picked an age that's later in life, say after the age of 50. But if you're like a small percentage of the population, you may have picked an earlier age, perhaps even before the age of 30.

Whatever age you picked, it's important to remember that it's never too soon to start making an estate plan. As we've talked about before on this blog, an estate plan becomes incredibly important as you near the end of your life. And while most people consider it morbid to consider their own death, many are incredibly grateful they did when they had the time and health to do so.

If your plan is to start sooner rather than later, you'll want to keep this important piece of information in mind though: revisit your estate plan often. This could have you asking, "When should I update my estate plan?" And the answer is: whenever you experience a life-changing event.

Anything that could possibly affect the beneficiaries named in your estate plan -- such as marriage, divorce, the death of a beneficiary, changes in state laws, or even just the passage of time -- should be reason to contact your lawyer and update your estate plan.

If you fail to do this before your passing, then your estate will be subject to probate laws that may distribute your assets to people you may not have intended to receive anything. This could lead to legal disputes you may be loathe to let your family members deal with on their own.

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