How Often Should You Update Your New York Estate Plan?
3 min read

How Often Should You Update Your New York Estate Plan?

Why should I update my Will? When do I need to update my Will in New York? This article discusses the main reasons why you should update your Will, considering major life events and other situations! Keep reading to learn more.

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Creating an estate plan is crucial in ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of after your passing. However, estate planning is not a one-and-done process. Your life, financial situation, and legal regulations can change over time, necessitating periodic updates to your estate plan. In this article, we will explore the question of how often you should update your New York estate plan to ensure it remains relevant and effective.

1. Major Life Events (Immediately or Within a Few Months)

Any time you experience a significant life event, you should review and update your estate plans. Your estate plan should reflect these new circumstances whenever you experience a significant change in your life. Major life events include:

  • Marriage or Divorce: When you marry, you may want to include your spouse in your estate plan and update beneficiaries. In the event of a divorce, you'll likely want to revise your plan to remove your ex-spouse's involvement.

  • Birth or Adoption: The addition of a child or adopted child to your family is a pivotal moment for estate planning. You may need to name guardians, establish trusts, and ensure your child is provided for in your plan.

  • Death of a Spouse or Beneficiary: The passing of a spouse, beneficiary, or executor named in your estate plan requires immediate attention. Revisions are necessary to update beneficiaries and assign new roles.

  • Significant Financial Changes: If you experience a significant increase or decrease in your wealth, you'll want to reevaluate your estate plan to ensure it aligns with your current financial situation.

2. Changes in Assets and Liabilities (Annually or As Needed)

Your assets and liabilities may fluctuate over time due to various factors, like investments, real estate acquisitions, or changes in business ownership. To keep your estate plan up-to-date, consider reviewing it annually or whenever there are substantial changes in your financial portfolio. Ensure your assets are properly accounted for and designated to the intended beneficiaries.

3. Alterations in Tax Laws (As Needed)

Tax laws, including federal and state regulations, can change over time. It's essential to stay informed about these changes and assess their impact on your estate plan. Periodic consultations with an estate planning attorney can help you make necessary adjustments to optimize your estate for tax efficiency.

4. Aging and Health Concerns (Regularly)

As you age, your health and circumstances may change. Regularly revisit your estate plan to ensure it reflects your current health status and preferences. This includes considering long-term care planning, end-of-life decisions, and the appointment of healthcare proxies. If you are diagnosed with an illness or change your mind about who you want to handle your affairs, then you should review your estate plan documents.

5. Changes in Personal Relationships (As Needed)

Personal relationships can evolve over time. Reevaluate your estate plan if you wish to add or remove individuals from your Will, trust, or other documents or if your relationships with beneficiaries or executors change significantly.

6. Changes in State of Residence (Immediately)

If you move to a different state, you should promptly review and update your estate plan to ensure it complies with the laws of your new state of residence. State laws governing Wills and trusts can vary significantly, and your existing plan may need modifications to align with the new jurisdiction. FastWill makes it easy to draft a new Will when you move to a new state.

7. Periodic Checkups (Every 2-4 Years)

Even without significant life events or changes, you should schedule yourself to revisit your estate plan every 2-4 years. During these reviews, you can confirm that your plan remains current and that it adequately reflects your wishes.


Updating your New York estate plan is not a one-time task; it's an ongoing process that should evolve with your life circumstances and changing legal regulations. Major life events, financial changes, and legal developments can all necessitate revisions to your estate plan. Regularly reviewing and updating your plan, as needed, ensures that it continues to align with your goals and priorities, ultimately providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones. When you draft an online Will with FastWill's platform, you can ensure that your estate plan is up-to-date and legally sound.

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