Matthew S. Payne is a Schaumburg-based attorney with a 20-year record of success in civil litigation, real estate law and estate planning.

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When to revise your estate plan

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2022 | Estate Planning

On average, estate plans should be updated every three to five years. Your estate’s administration in Illinois is either done privately or in a public hearing. For these reasons, re-evaluating an estate plan now can prepare you. The risk of having your assets garnished or taxed exists if you lack a plan. The following are ideal times to revisit your estate portfolio and build your strategy.


Getting married often changes your personal assets into shared assets. Marital assets, as a general rule, are things that spouses jointly own. Your estate should be restructured to account for marriage. You can assess your worth by listing out what you own prior to getting married. Later, you cannot use a will to give out assets that you don’t legally own as an individual.


Parents who consider estate administration need to assess the future of their families. Young children lack a great deal to successfully care for themselves without their parents. By planning with special or financial directives, you ensure that someone responsible raises your children if you prematurely leave them. Parents must also determine an inheritance plan.


Estate planning is a credible way of preparing yourself for retirement. Like many estate tools, retirement accounts are sheltered until they’re accessed. Your specific plan dictates if you’re aggressively growing a retirement account or if you’re simply keeping it from taxes and creditors. Retirement is important to consider if you haven’t planned against its risks.

Estate administration in Illinois

Preparation is the core objective of estate planning. Your local Illinois government will account for your possessions when you die. Whether the probate court follows the wishes you have or not is dependent on whether you have those plans legally written and notarized.