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Updating estate plan continually is essential

Creating a well-thought-out estate plan in Maryland plays an essential role in making sure that one's assets end up in the right hands when one dies. However, simply creating a plan is not enough. It is also important to continually update an estate plan.

A few documents that are paramount to update include revocable trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney and health care advance directives. These documents may need to be updated after a person moves to another state or purchases real estate in a different state. Updates are also warranted if a person's asset values have changed in a major way from when the estate plan documents were initially prepared.

Health problems are another reason why estate planning documents may need to be changed. For instance, a family member with a substance abuse problem, mental illness or special needs might need extra assistance, which can be spelled out in a will. It is also essential to make sure that anyone named in a plan as a fiduciary, such as a trustee, executor, attorney or health care agent, is still appropriate. Major life changes may further spark the need to make changes to a life insurance policy, which includes changing beneficiary designations or adjusting life insurance coverage. Additionally, if one buys a costlier home with a large mortgage, that may necessitate an adjustment.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan may understandably be overwhelming for an individual in Maryland. However, a solid plan is imperative for protecting both one's interests and one's loved ones. Appropriate legal guidance may help people to successfully create estate plans as well as continually take care of them long term.

Source:, "Estate Planning Checkup: 3 Items to Review Now", Tracy Craig, Jan. 20 2016

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