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Estate planning documents should be regularly reviewed

Many people in Tennessee want to complete the estate planning process and then put those documents aside. Due to inevitable life and law changes, however, estate plans can often be ripe for review and updating. This will help to ensure that they accurately reflect one's wishes.

Many experts advise a review of primary estate planning documents, including a will, financial power of attorney and advanced medical directive, by a lawyer at least every 10 years. Of course, a review can be prompted by other major life events, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child or grandchild. Many estate holders may wish to add new beneficiaries or remove beneficiaries with whom they have ended a relationship.

It can also be important to ensure that the executor of one's will is current and up to date. When a will goes to probate, if a deceased or unavailable person is named, the probate court will appoint an alternative. In addition, while major possessions like a home, bank account or other high-value items will often be included in a will, many personal possessions are often left aside. This can make it difficult for loved ones to sort out the distribution of personal property after death. However, handling it as part of the estate can ease the process for everyone involved.

There are a number of benefits to keeping one's estate plan up to date. Even tax law changes can have an effect on an estate. With help from an experienced attorney, however, estate holders can be sure that their future wishes will be followed.

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