Thursday, July 10, 2014
Estate planning is not something we should do once and then completely disregard. With unpredictable futures and ever changing laws, it is imperative that estate plans are frequently updated. Below are some indicators that your estate plan may be outdated:
- You have had a birthday. Any time you have had a birthday that makes you reflect on your future and your family, you should consider revisiting your estate plan to ensure your current preferences are adequately represented.
- Buying major assets. If you have bought real estate or another asset that has changed your financial status, it might be a good time to check in with your estate-planning attorney.
- Death of a child or fiduciary. Update your estate plan to remove the deceased person’s name. If you do not, years from now your personal representative or successor trustee will have to get original death certificate for the deceased person.
- Marriage or divorce. Any changes in marital status will require significant changes to your estate plan.
- Started, purchased, or sold a business. Meet with your estate-planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan is structured properly to deal with the business if you become disabled and put together a business exit plan. If you’ve sold a business, make sure sale proceeds are titled in your name.
- Moved to a new state. State laws dictate what estate planning documents you need to include and how they need to be signed. Different states impose different estate taxes so you want to be up to date on the taxable status of your estate.
- A beneficiary or fiduciary has gotten married or divorced. It is important to keep in touch with your fiduciaries so you know about changes in their lives as that may change your preferences about what your estate plan dictates for the future of your family and loved ones.
See Bonnie Bowles, 7 Reasons Your Estate Plan May Be Outdated, Examiner, July 8, 2014.