Five Reasons it is Time to Update Your Estate Plan

Five Reasons it is Time to Update Your Estate Plan

April 16, 2019

Estate planning not only ensures that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes after you pass, but it can also be significantly beneficial to your family and loved ones. However, many people will create an estate plan and never touch it again, even if their circumstances have changed. Updating an estate plan on a regular basis is critical to its administration, and experts suggest reviewing your plan every three years or when big events take place in your life. An estate planning attorney in your area can help you review and update your estate plan to accurately reflect your life and your wishes as they are today.

Events That Trigger Estate Plan Review

One major event that should trigger a review of your estate plan is if you move to another state. Every state has its own probate laws with their own nuances. For example, many states require that a spouse inherits a portion of the estate, regardless of whether the spouse is provided for in the will; however, the amount of the inheritance can vary widely. In addition, some states have estate and inheritance taxes while others do not. Understanding how the new state’s laws affect your current estate plan can have a drastic effect on how you would like your assets distributed upon your death.

Another major event is a change in your family or affections. This can include a marriage, divorce, death, or birth of a child or grandchild. You should consider revising your estate plan to ensure that everyone is included that you wish to inherit and that people are not left in the estate plan that you wish to exclude. This includes both a final will and testament as well as any beneficiary documents with loved ones named. By leaving names in your estate plan, you risk losing some of your assets to these people or their families upon your death.

A third major event that should trigger an estate plan review is a significant change in assets or liabilities in your estate. This can include buying or selling a home, a business, or other major investment. This could significantly affect how the property is divided and you can decide if the distribution method is the best for these new circumstances.

One final major events pertains to any significant changes in the state or federal tax laws. The federal government has enacted sweeping reforms to the tax code in recent years that could significantly affect your estate. You may wish to reconsider the instruments and vehicles used to transfer your property to your heirs and whether another ways might be more useful and beneficial to maintain the value of your estate when it passes to the next generation.

Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney

To learn more about financial power of attorney forms and your legal options for naming a durable power of attorney in your estate plan, contact Nusinov Smith Law Firm today.