10 Tips for When Seniors Should Update Their Estate Plan


Many seniors don’t realize that they need to update their plans as time goes by. As major life events occur, or tax laws change, you should update your estate plan to reflect those changes. Otherwise, your family could be left to hash out the complications of outdated instructions.

In the simplest terms, whenever your family structure changes or you experience a major life event, it’s a good idea to update your estate plan accordingly. Such changes could include:

  1. Birth of a Grandchild – Whenever a new child is brought into the family, you’ll probably want to update your will to include your new grandchild as a beneficiary, or reallocate your assets into a trust fund for the child.
  2. Death of a Spouse – Because most people assign their spouse as a beneficiary of their assets or a trustee of their estate, documents need to be updated if the spouse passes away. You will need to reassign someone to take your spouse’s place legally.
  3. Health Changes – Significant changes in your health or your spouse’s may require you to update your estate plan. The cost of healthcare might affect your assets, so reviewing your documents is wise. You may also change your mind about end-of- life wishes laid out in your living will.
  4. Change in Assets – Any time you experience a significant change in your assets, you should review your estate plan. This could occur if you sell your home and move into a senior living community, or if you or your spouse requires long-term care.
  5. Changing Beneficiaries or Trustees – You will need to revisit your estate plan if you wish to change any beneficiaries or trustees of your estate. Whether one of your trustees has passed away or a family dispute causes you to change your mind about how to distribute funds, you will need to update your documents to reflect any changes.
  6. Selling a Business – You will need to update your estate plan if you owned a business and choose to sell it when you retire. Not only is this a significant change in your assets, but you may have also included the business within the terms of your will or trusts.
  7. Accessing Retirement Savings – Whenever it’s time to start accessing your IRA or 401(k) savings, you should update your estate plan if you’ve included your retirement savings investments in your planning.
  8. Moving to a New State – If you move to a new state to be closer to family, you will need to review your estate plan, as laws differ from state to state. Most states generally honor the plans created in another state, but you will need to make sure all the terms are still valid in your new state of residence.
  9. Insurance Changes – As you make changes to the terms of your insurance policies, you should make sure those changes correspond with your estate plan documents. It’s important to make sure your documents are not contradictory.
  10. Federal or State Law Changes – Even when none of the above changes occur, it’s still a good idea to review your estate plan every few years to make sure they are in accordance with current estate and tax laws.

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Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture, and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.

The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.

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