Ask A Professional: When Should You Have Your Estate Planning Documents Reviewed?

Spring cleaning means more than wiping down the fridge and clearing out clutter; take a look at your estate planning documents to ensure they are current and relevant.  We have Kelly Jesson with Jesson and Rains sharing with us life milestones that warrant a second look at your estate planning documents.


The start of a new year always has people: reflecting on things they would like to change about their lives and setting goals for the future.  Every five years or so, you should meet with your estate planning attorney to review any life changes or changes in the law.  You should be on the lookout for the following:

  • Births – make sure you are not inadvertently leaving out a new child or grandchild from your estate plan.
  • Deaths – be sure to replace deceased beneficiaries, executors, trustees, and guardians from your estate plan.
  • New disability or illness – special planning to care for these individuals should go into your estate plan.
  • Marriage – make sure to update your estate plan to include your new spouse.
  • Divorce – make sure your ex-spouse and his/her family is not inheriting or playing any other role in your estate plan.
  • Moving to a new state – does your new state have beneficial laws to incorporate?
  • Buying real property in a second state – You may want to upgrade to a trust to avoid multiple probates in multiple states.
  • Changes in assets or debts – are estate taxes now an issue? Do we now need to shield assets from creditors?
  • Changes in employment – is your estate plan in line with your new career / retirement? Are you a new business owner who needs succession planning?


If you’ve had any changes in your life, start 2018 off right by having an attorney review your estate plan to ensure that your property is distributed how and to who you want it to be distributed and to ensure that you are leaving your family unburdened.


Kelly focuses on estate planning, probate administration, and business law. She is licensed in North Carolina and Florida.  Prior to joining Jesson & Rains, LLP, she represented local governments and businesses in matters ranging from personal injury suits in state court to discrimination, police liability, and other constitutional law claims in federal court. Kelly served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Angel A. Cortiñas of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal in Miami.


Looking to have your estate planning documents reviewed?