If you finally updated your estate plan in 2016, that’s great! But if the last time you reviewed your estate plan was more than four years ago, it’s time review again. You might not need to change a thing—but you won’t know if you’ve missed out on beneficial changes to the law unless you do a review with your estate attorney.
Forbes’ article, “6 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan as Soon as Possible,” says that periodically reviewing your estate plan will ensure that it accurately reflects your current goals and requirements. If your personal or financial situation changes, you should be certain to revise your estate plan. Here are some of the top reasons to see your estate planning lawyer and make changes:
- If you divorce and when it’s final, you need to revise your plan to reflect any new goals and desires.
- If you remarry, you and your new spouse may reach have children from a previous marriage or relationship… so you need to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to go over what can be the confusing realities of planning for the children of blended families.
- If you have a new addition to your family, by birth or adoption, you’ll want to ensure your new child’s financial future and to designate a legal guardian in case you and your spouse pass away or are incapacitated.
- In the event that you or one of your family members becomes seriously ill, you might think about a change to your plan to reflect their increased needs… a special needs trust may be in order.
- The tax code is always undergoing review, updating, and change… these rules may significantly impact your estate plan. Your estate lawyer is your best bet to ensure your plan is in compliance with any new legislation.
- Finally, the increased value of your estate may make you rethink inheritances and how you’d like your assets to be distributed upon your death.
If it’s easier, just add “Review estate plan” to your New Year’s resolutions. Think of it this way: it’s probably going to be a lot easier to make that appointment than to lose those last twenty pounds! On a more serious note, your life may be the same as it was four years ago, but there have been changes in the law that could have a positive impact on your overall goals. It’s a simple task, and one that’s easy to address.
Legacy Counsellors, P.C. is unique in the fact that it offers a Continuous Care Maintenance Program to it's clients. Clients that enroll in the maintenance program (enrollment rate of about 95%) they are entitled to regular document and financial updates, which help keep their estate plan current to any new laws, family changes, and changes in wealth. Legacy Counsellors, P.C. is proud to announce that their Continuous Care Maintenance Program is celebrating it's twentieth year! If you would like to create an estate plan with a law firm that creates and maintains your plan, please call our office today.
Reference: Forbes (January 2, 2017) “6 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan as Soon as Possible”