An estate plan isn’t something you create and forget about once it’s done. If you’ve read any of our articles regarding actors and their trusts then you know how important it is to update your plan. Your life is constantly changing, your assets change, and laws change. Your estate plan should reflect these changes because you could leave your family with unnecessary legal conflicts.
Reviewing your estate plan every so often will help you identify what needs to be updated in your plan due to:
- Changes in the family structure: If babies have been born, if loved ones have passed away, if you’ve gotten divorced or married then you need to revisit your plan.
- Changes in the law: You may have to update your healthcare and financial powers of attorney to adjust to any changes in federal and state tax laws. You can develop new wealth planning strategies for your estate plan depending on state regulations.
- Changes in assets: Has there been a change in your net worth? If you have invested in any businesses, opened new bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, real estate or anything of that nature, then you definitely need to revise your estate plan. You must also update the spreadsheet of assets you have for your family.
- Funding of assets and beneficiary designations: A common error that people tend to make is incorrectly completing the transfer of assets into a trust within their estate plan. Another common mistake is having beneficiary designations that don’t reflect the distribution of language in the estate plan. You should review these matters at least once a year to avoid any issues.
If you do not revisit your plan and update it regularly, your family will have to deal with the consequences.
If you would like more information about creating or updating your estate plan, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. Call (209) 877-7457 today and mention this article for a planning discount (availability permitting).