As life goes on and the day to day twists and turns occupy your attention you may not give your estate plan much thought. Years can pass since you first created the plan, and those years can turn into decades. But over that time it is very likely that your life changed in many different ways. Your extended family may have got larger, your health care needs may have changed, and your financial situation is very likely to be different as well. Plus, things that are entirely out of your control are always in flux as well. The health care system is being altered, new legislation is always being enacted, and the economy itself is always providing new and different challenges. As a result, your estate plan should be reviewed often as the world around you changes.
If you have a comprehensive estate plan in place, it should include a health care component. It is advisable to have a living will and/or a durable power of attorney for health care so that you can be certain that your wishes are known and ultimately carried out in the event of your incapacitation. However, if you created your plan before these vehicles became prominent in the public consciousness you may not have included advance health care directives as a part of your plan. This is one of the reasons why you should view your estate plan as an ongoing work in progress.
The financial aspects of your estate plan must also be revisited often because times does not stand still and things change. There are constant alterations to the tax laws, and if you are not vigilant and reactive your estate can be vulnerable. The message here is to recognize the fact that your original estate plan is not something that is etched in granite. It is very likely that it will need to be updated regularly, and this is something that everyone should keep in mind.
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