A common mistake that I see again and again in my estate planning practice is the complacency that sets in once a client's estate planning documents are signed. While the client is really happy with the content of the documents on the day they are signed, things happen day in and day out that will effect the overall plan and after only a year or a few years the plan may very well become obsolete. This is why an annual review of your estate plan is critical, because the review really serves four important purposes:
- It reminds you to think about your estate plan in view of changes in your life that have occurred during the past year that may require some tweaks to your plan.
- It gives you the opportunity to review the status of the funding of your revocable living trust since anything left out of your trust at the time of your death will need to go through probate.
- It gives your attorney the opportunity to inform you about changes in the law that may affect your estate plan.
- It gives your attorney the opportunity to review your estate plan to determine if any new or improved estate planning techniques may be of benefit you.
If you become complacent and simply allow your estate plan to sit in the drawer collecting dust, then when the time comes for your estate planning documents to actually be put into action, chances are the documents will fail miserably because they will be stale and outdated, not to mention out of sync with your current family situation and financial status.