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How Often Should You Review Your Estate Plan?

If you have an estate plan, you are thinking ahead and doing your best to preserve assets and help loved ones after you are gone. Despite that good work, an estate plan is a work in progress and needs attention from time to time.

A well-crafted estate plan can help you avoid probate, keep your affairs private and enable your wishes to be carried out after you are deceased. During your lifetime, changes may occur that warrant review of your estate plan. Some of those changes include the following:

  • Change in marital status: A marriage, separation or divorce should be reflected in your estate planning documentation. Whether revising your list of beneficiaries or adding adequate financial protection for a loved one, changes in your personal life may lead to consideration of long-term wishes.
  • Business or income change: The purchase, sale or closure of a business, or a substantial increase or decrease in wealth can have an impact on estate-planning strategies. If you undertake an investment strategy or your retirement funding changes, all accounts and funds should be identified and given adequate protection by your estate plan.
  • Family life: If you add to your family, a child, stepchild or grandchild can be a good reason to consider the directions provided in your plan.
  • Relocation: If you move from one state to another, contact a reputable estate-planning attorney to review your will, trust and other documents to ensure that they are appropriate to the laws of your new state of residence.
  • Changes in the law: From time to time, legislative changes may make it wise to consider whether tools used in your estate plan are currently the best way to protect your assets.

Life, by itself, may change your mind and give you reason to alter your will or trust directions. When change happens — or at least every five years — seek good advice about your will from an experienced Texas lawyer.

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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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