Many people in New York do not realize the importance of reviewing estate planning documents occasionally. Once wills and trusts are established, reviewing them can ensure that life’s changes are reflected in these documents. Advisers say all important legal documents should be reviewed and modified if necessary at three- or five-year intervals and also upon reaching certain milestones in life.
Heirs, trustees, guardians and executors are but some of the matters to consider. Reviewing estate planning documents is the opportunity to add any names that were not included in the original document and to remove anyone who should no longer be included. It is also a time to evaluate the suitability and continued capability of designated individuals, such as the executor.
If the testator wishes to make changes to the way assets will be divided, this is a good time to make modifications. Events such as births of children or grandchildren, marriages, divorces, and deaths of any of those named in legal documents are matters to address during the review of estate planning documents. Relocations, medical conditions and mental abilities are all events that could affect the availability of designated guardians, trustees and executors.
Modifications are best done by an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure the continued legal validity of wills and trusts. A New York lawyer can answer questions and assist with the creation of a new will or a codicil to add to the original will. Legal counsel can also ensure that the documents are duly signed and witnessed to avoid the documents being challenged at a later stage.