An Estate Plan allows you to put your end-of-life care into writing, reduce estate taxes, avoid the costly and lengthy probate process, and protect your assets and beneficiaries. However, in order for an Estate Plan to effectively reflect your wishes—and to ensure you're still taking full advantage of the relevant tax laws—it's wise to review it with an Estate Planning Attorney at least every three to five years. Beyond that, your Estate Plan should change when your life does.
When to Update Your Estate Plan
Examples of life changes that may necessitate an Estate Plan update include:
- Moving to another state
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a child or grandchild
- Adopting a child or grandchild
- Caring for an elderly family member
- Purchase of a home or other large asset
- Significant increase or decrease in the value of investments
- Receipt of a large gift or inheritance
- Illness, disability, or death of family members
- Major career changes
- Change of goals
- Change in circumstances or death of the guardian named for your minor children
- A strained relationship with those designated as executors or trustees
Research shows that the average Estate Plan is at least five years old. A lot can change in just five seemingly short years. Outdated Estate Plans can lead to messy disputes between heirs and, most importantly, they prevent your true wishes from being carried out.
Fortunately, this disaster can be avoided by reviewing your Estate Plan every three to five years, or when you experience a meaningful life change. An experienced Estate Planning Attorney can help.
We Can Review and Update Your Estate Plan
At Ross & Shoalmire, our knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorneys can review your plan and implement the updates necessary to reflect your current wishes or take advantage of changed tax laws. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.