Writing an estate plan is important, but it is not a once and done process. Instead, an estate plan must be reviewed and kept up to date to reflect a person’s goals. Failure to adequately update an estate plan has the potential to result in some very serious obstacles. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the important reasons why you should make sure to update your estate plan.
# 1 – Tax Laws Change Often
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had a substantial impact on estate planning law. There are also various other tax codes that change and impact tax issues related to estate planning. It is critical to make sure that an estate plan is frequently updated to take advantage of these revisions to the tax code as well as to avoid paying more in taxes than one is required.
# 2 – Numerous Life Events Can Change Estate Plans
There are numerous life events that can substantially change a person’s estate plans. Some of the changes that can alter estate plans include marriage, divorce, births, adoption, and the development of disabilities. These events can make clauses in estate plans that once seemed reasonable appear to not be so. Updating an estate plan frequently helps to avoid these complications.
# 3 – Relocation between States
Estate planning laws change between states. While some of these differences are less important, other of these differences are substantial and can substantially impact estate planning. As a result, if you have moved between states, it is important to make sure that your estate plan is updated to reflect these changes. It often is important to also establish that a person has changed residence because there is a risk that a state where a person previously resided might attempt to probate an estate.
# 4 – Changes in What a Person Owes
Over time, many people’s assets as well as their liabilities change. When these changes occur, it is important to review a person’s estate planning documents and determine if any revisions are necessary. It is just as important to consider revising an estate plan if the types of assets that make up a person’s estate plan changes. For example, a person might have sold a tangible piece of property for money, which might impact some estate plans.
# 5- Feelings about a Beneficiary, Executor, or Trustee Have Changed
If your ability to trust someone or the way you feel about an individual has changed, it is important to revise documents to reflect this perspective. Other times, a person who was once able and willing to perform estate planning goals have changed and it has now become necessary to appoint someone else to this rule. Other factors that can necessitate a change of estate planning parties is if someone dies, moves away, or becomes incapacitated.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
If you need assistance with estate planning, do not hesitate to contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.