Creating an estate plan can give you a sense of accomplishment. If you made a plan years ago, you may feel there is no need to revisit it. However, it is crucial to take another look at those dusty old documents in your safe deposit box. 

You should review your estate plan regularly–at least once every five years and whenever anything significant changes in your life or family. Here are some core reasons why you should dust off that old binder and make some adjustments to your will.

Marital changes

Marriage and divorce are common experiences for most people. Whenever you enter a marriage, make sure your estate plan reflects your goals as an individual and a couple. This is especially important for blended families. 

During your marriage, one core aspect of your estate plan may be to provide for your partner when you die. If you split up, this goal is probably different. Revise your plan whenever you get a divorce so your estate gets distributed according to your current intentions. 

A new child

Birth and adoption are both beautiful milestones in your life. The addition of a child to your family brings about a lot of changes, and it should have an effect on your estate plan too. Before a child, your plan may be focused on distributing your assets to your spouse or a charitable organization. When a child enters the picture, you probably want him or her to be the core recipient of your wealth and property. 

Death in the family

When a loved one passes away, the last thing that may enter your mind is reviewing your estate plan. But it is a good idea to analyze your plan, especially if you named the person who died as an executor, beneficiary or power of attorney in your estate plan. You will want to name someone else if this occurs.