Everyone knows that life is full of changes. But not everyone realizes that many of these changes warrant modifying your estate plan.

There is a popular misconception out there that estate planning is a "one and done" deal, meaning that after you take the time to create your estate plan, you never have to think about it again.

Unfortunately, though, if you fail to update your estate plan after changes in the law or major life events take place, your thoughtful planning may have been in vain.

It's a good idea to revisit your estate plan anytime the law changes or after going through one of the following life events:

You get married. After you get married, you will want to spell out exactly what you want your new spouse to be entitled to in the event of your death, especially if you have children from a previous relationship who you want to make sure are provided for.

You welcome a child. One of the most important aspects of updating your estate plan after having or adopting a child is naming a guardian for your children and making sure that they are provided for if tragedy strikes.

You move to a different state. Estate planning laws vary from state to state, which is why it is crucial to meet with an estate planning lawyer in your new state after moving to ensure that your plan is still valid.

You get divorced or your spouse passes away. If your spouse is named in your estate plan -- whether as a beneficiary, executor, trustee or in some other capacity -- it's very important to revisit these elections after a divorce or your spouse passes away.

You experience an increase or decrease in your assets. If your estate gets significantly larger or smaller, different estate tax laws may apply so you will want to make sure that your estate plan still minimizes your tax consequences.

At Whitlock Canter LLC, we offer assistance with all types of estate planning and estate administration needs, including updates to estate plans after law changes or major life events.

We believe all Bergen County residents deserve high-quality, compassionate legal assistance, which is why we are committed to delivering a premium legal service at competitive prices.