No Time To Take A Knee: Your Estate Plan Needs A New Formation
Estate Planning is never just “set it and forget it.” No matter what the scoreboard says, it is always important to have your estate plan reviewed by an estate planning attorney every three to five years.
Even when you are halfway through the game, and in the lead, you would never just take a knee and rely on your winning position. This applies in estate planning as well, because even when you are prepared and in a winning position, you have to keep up with the game in order to ensure your “win.” There are a variety of life events that can create a need for new strategies, which is why it is so important to have your estate plan reviewed to ensure that your game plan is still effective. There is no specific time for when you need to have your estate plan reviewed, but generally every three to five years is sufficient. However, if there is any particular life event that takes place that will affect your relationships or distributions, you may want to have your plan reviewed for alterations. Such life events include the following:
Marriage & Divorce: if you have recently married or divorced, you will want to take your current estate plan to your attorney to determine whether these life events are addressed in the documents. Furthermore, you may want to change your Personal Representative, Trustee’s, Guardian’s, etc.
Children: Sometimes your Will & Last Testament will provide for after-born children, but you should take the document to your estate-planning attorney to ensure that your little bundle of joy is provided for. Additionally, you may want to set up a trust, a 529- college plan, alter beneficiary designations in your will, and nominate a legal guardian.
Estate Size Increase: You want to make certain that your estate plans are tailored to your estate size. Therefore, when your estate increases, you may want to make some changes in terms of tax and estate planning. Furthermore, if you have an estate plan that is set up to avoid probate, and acquire new property, you will want to assign that property to your living trust. You also may want to consider a variety of estate planning strategies, anywhere from setting up an LLC to protect certain assets from lawsuits, to reducing the size of your estate for tax purposes.