Hearty congratulations if you created your estate plan in 2016. That’s a big item to cross off the “to do” list. But if you nailed this job some time ago, you need to add a task back on the list: a periodic review of your estate plan.
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.
So enjoy crossing off “Make Estate Plan” from the list, but be sure to add the task of reviewing that plan back on your “to do” list soon. Make sure your estate plan is always up-to-date.
Reference: Forbes (January 2, 2017) “6 Reasons to Revise Your Estate Plan as Soon as Possible”