All too often, responsible people fall into the trap of thinking that there is no need to revisit documents after they have been drawn up. You might not know that there are at least ten reasons to review your estate plan today. Going over documents can save your family heartache and conflict after you pass.
1. Your family has grown.
If you have a new child or grandchild in your life, you may want to add them to your estate. The same applies if you have been recently married or you want to put somebody in charge of caring for your minor children. You may also find that your children no longer need as much as help as they once did.
2. Your family has shrunk.
Unfortunately, death and divorce do call for changes to an estate plan. You may be forced to choose a new executor or trustee.
3. State or federal tax laws have changed.
If you are married, your ownership of assets may be affected by changing state and federal tax laws.
4. You bought new property.
Whether you recently purchased real estate to rent out or a new vacation home, ensuring that each property is accounted for is important.
5. You haven't reviewed your estate in the last three years.
Even if your wishes or family have not changed, reviewing your estate plan helps to ensure that you are up to speed on local laws and taxes.
6. Somebody in your family is going to school.
If you wish to help a family member with tuition for school, ensure that it is part of your estate.
7. You run your own business.
Allowing your business to transition smoothly requires that you pay special attention to how it is passed on. A legal battle could shut down years of hard work.
8. You are caring for somebody else.
If you have recently begun caring for another adult, perhaps a parent or elderly family member, you may wish to include them in your estate to ensure they are cared for if something happens to you.
9. You want to buy a life insurance policy.
You may wish to change your estate plan once you have declared beneficiaries for life insurance.
10. Your estate's value has changed.
You may choose to restructure your estate plan if you have experienced a significant decrease or increase in your estate's value.
Still haven't drawn up your estate plan? Wondering what changes you should make? Contact us to see what steps you should be taking.