Estate plans are effective when they accurately reflect your wishes based on your most current life circumstances. Too often I hear about estate plans that were prepared before major life events have rendered them outdated which can create conflict for your loved ones. Children are born. Divorces happen. Beloved family members pass on. Any number of things can make a once-current estate plan no longer reflective of your true intent. Below are three considerations that may warrant a rehashing of your estate plan:
Personal or Family Triggering Event
A life triggering event can come in many forms such as those noted above, but it also may be something as simple as your child turning 18 or the birth of a grandchild. These changes could cause you to rethink whether you need a different kind of Trust, whether you want to rename your successor Trustees or add a specific gift for a special person. Adult children can be named as successor Trustees and agents for health care in place of friends or older family members.
Changes to a Job or Real Estate Ownership
Have you recently moved to a new state or acquired an investment property? Maybe you are now a business partner or have stock that has shot up in value. Any of these situations call for you to take a fresh look at your estate planning documents to see if there are any precautions you should be taking to make sure you avoid probate and ensure that you are properly planning for your family.
New Tax Considerations
Federal tax laws have changed significantly since January 2017 and the new laws allow for more flexible planning options for nearly everyone. Outdated estate plans may require needless paperwork and tax consequences because they were designed based on a lower federal estate tax threshold. Newer Trust models provide for simplified planning after a spouse passes away.
Depending on your situation you may just need a simple Amendment or for those with older documents or several changes, a complete Restatement may be necessary. Also, there is a trend toward having an open dialogue with your family about your estate plan so that at your death your true intent is known. I can guide you through the entire process! Please call me if you would like to chat at (949) 387-8707 or email me at email@example.com.