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  • Writer's pictureCook Tillman

What to look for when it is time to review your estate plan

So you have met with an estate planning attorney and set up a comprehensive plan that will help your estate avoid taxes, protect your intellectual property and distribute your wealth to your loved ones as you wish. Congratulations! Just know that this is not the end of your responsibilities.

Like most legal documents, your will, trust and other estate planning tools are not permanently set in stone under Tennessee law. You can make changes whenever you want to. In fact, you should review your estate plan every few years to make sure there is not anything in it that is out of date. An hour of your time now could prevent unwanted results later.

Four common reasons it’s time for an estate plan update

Reasons to change the terms of your estate plan can include:

  1. Divorce and remarriage. In most cases, you would not want your ex to be an heir, beneficiary, or trustee. And you probably would not want your current spouse or partner to be left out of the inheritance.

  2. Since creating your estate plan, you have had more children or stepchildren. You want to include them as heirs and beneficiaries.

  3. The people you have named as trustee and executor of your estate have passed away, or have become mentally incompetent.

  4. You move out of state. Each state has its own probate laws. The probate court in another state may not honor an estate plan created to fit into Tennessee law.

If you discover things about your estate plan that are out of date, let your estate planning attorney know. They will help you make changes and keep your estate plan legally sound. Then you can be confident that, if the worst happens, your final wishes will be honored properly, with a minimum of legal hassle.


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