When it comes to topics around morbidity, it’s easy to want to approach it as a once-and-done activity. You meet with your life insurance agent, fill out the application and attend any medical screenings, and then file that policy away for the long haul.

You might review the brochure from a funeral or memorial business in your local area and set things up one afternoon simply because you don’t want your loved ones to make those decisions after you’re gone.

While some of your end-of-life decisions involve one period of answering difficult questions, that’s not true for your estate plan. Regular updates can make a big difference, especially if changes in your life mean some beneficiaries should be added and others should be removed.

Your estate plan sets the foundation for what happens if you become incapacitated or pass away, but your wishes might change over time and the makeup of your key stakeholders can flux as well.

Your estate plan represents what was most important to you at the time you made the plan, but it’s possible that’s no longer accurate either due to your own wishes or shifting laws. If someone you previously named to handle your estate, for example, passed away, you’ll need to make new decisions about that.

At least every five years, you should sit down with your Pasadena estate lawyer and discuss what your plan does and whether that matches up with what you need the plan to do. If you’ve gotten remarried, intend to get a divorce, or have added new beneficiaries in your family, you should also discuss your options with an attorney.

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