If you’ve got an estate plan in place, congratulations! That’s a pretty big deal considering that only about half of Americans have done any estate planning at all. So far, you’re on the right track.
But do you ever need to review or update your estate plan once you’ve put it into motion? Yes, you do.
In fact, you should generally take a look at your estate plan at least once every three to five years to ensure that everything conforms to your wishes. However, you might have recently experienced some changes in your life that can reduce the effectiveness of your plan. When you experience these types of changes, it’s smart to take another look at your estate plan.
Changes to Family Structure or Beneficiaries
Birth, marriage, divorce, death—these are the most important events to consider when asking whether you need to re-evaluate your estate planning strategies. In each of these scenarios—having a baby, getting married, getting divorce, or experiencing a death in the family—you should go over your estate plan with your attorney to make sure that you’ve got everything covered.
When you have a child or get married, you’ll want to ensure that your new family members are included in your estate plan. On the other hand, you may want to reconsider who will receive a piece of your estate if you get divorced. In the event of a death in the family, it’s important to review your trustee and durable power of attorney to make sure that someone will fulfill your wishes after you’re gone. If you designated the person who passed away as someone who would help manage your estate after you’re gone, you’ll want to change that designation as soon as possible.
Changes in Tax Laws
Tax laws are always changing. It’s critical to review periodically any changes to your federal and state tax laws in case they affect your estate. Another scenario in which the tax laws might change is if you move to a new state. You will need to find a new estate planning attorney who is familiar with the laws of your new residence so that you can ensure that your plan is compliant.
More Reasons to Rethink Estate Planning
A few other reasons you might want to revisit your estate plan include:
- Rethinking your durable power of attorney or beneficiaries
- Starting a business
- Reconsidering the strategies you have in place
Of course, there are many different reasons to think of looking over your estate plan, so it is best to talk to an experienced professional about your situation.
Need help evaluating your estate plan?
If you’ve experienced any changes in your family dynamic or have recently move to Florida, give Casal & Moreno a call today. We can help you change your estate plan so that it reflects your wishes and complies with state laws. Get in touch with us today!