Estate Planning For The Long Run

Estate Planning For The Long Run

Keeping Your Estate Planning Up To Date

June 29, 2013

General George S. Patton once said “…one does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances.” A simple interpretation of this quote is that it often takes more than one initial plan in order for the intended result of that plan to come to fruition. This is because the initial circumstances of that plan will change along the way, which ultimately requires us to revisit our plan and adapt it to the present circumstances. This was true for General Patton during times of war, and it is also true for each of us with our estate planning.

Estate planning is more of a process of planning, not just a plan. Initially, your plan will detail how you want your assets managed from that point forward. However, changing circumstances will require you to revisit that plan to ensure that it reflects those changes. Here are some examples of when it is a good idea to revisit your estate planning:

Significant increase or decrease in assets

Moving to/from another state

Change in marital status

Birth or adoption

Death of a beneficiary or executor

Change of mind about a beneficiary or asset distribution

At least every 2-3 years

Change is always certain. It is vital to continually review your estate plan to make sure it is up to date. After all, a good plan today might be insufficient tomorrow, depending on the circumstances.