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Executing the documents is not the end of estate planning

Many Delaware residents have already made arrangements for the disposition of their property after death and for their care in the event that they become incapacitated. However, just because the documents are executed does not mean that they can be put away and never looked at again. In fact, it is recommended that a periodic review of the documents be done in order to ensure that they still fulfill an individual's estate planning needs.

Many sources recommend that a review be done at least every three to four years. Some Delaware residents might need to take their documents out more often due to major life changes such as births, marriages and divorces, among other life events. Sometimes, a friend or loved one predeceases (dies before) an individual. That person could be named as an executor, trustee or agent. That person's death would trigger a review of the estate plan.

Most people would agree that families are complicated. Relationships and people change. If it becomes apparent that a child is no longer capable of handling an inheritance, it might be necessary to make alternative arrangements for that child. Sometimes, family members become estranged despite their best efforts. An individual might want to specifically disinherit that person.

These and other circumstances could necessitate a change in an existing estate plan. Therefore, it is a good idea for individuals to make sure that the documents still reflect their wishes. Fortunately, in most cases, estate planning allows any changes and/or modifications necessary to ensure that it meets expectations.

Source: fdlreporter.com, "Easing the burden: Revise your estate plan regularly", Isabell Mueller, July 30, 2016

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