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Why it’s a smart time to revise existing estate plans

Life is unpredictable, and changes are inevitable. The choices a person made for his or her long-term plans may no longer be applicable or relevant. This is why it is prudent for every Louisiana adult to revise existing estate plans after major life changes and events. It is important to review plans at least every four to five years to determine what changes are necessary.

When people create an estate plan, they usually start by drafting a will. This document outlines what a person wants done with his or her stuff after passing, and it may also designate someone to care for minor children. An important revision to an estate plan is to update a will as necessary, as well as add additional documents that are now important, such as a powers of attorney.

There are powers of attorney for health care and finances. These appoint someone to act on behalf of a person who is incapacitated and unable to speak for him or herself regarding medical decisions and financial needs. There are also documents that allow a person to specify medical choices. Some in Louisiana may benefit from a trust, something that allows specific assets to be set aside and protected for a specific use.

Revising estate plans may involve changing the actual terms of existing documents, or it may involve drafting and adding new plans. A careful review of plans, objectives and financial circumstances can reveal what changes may be necessary. This is not something to delay, whether it’s starting the long-term planning process or revising plans that are already in place.