You cannot set up your estate plan and forget about it. Remember to revise your estate plan periodically to make sure it reflects your current situation. If your estate plan is three or more years old, you should consider updating it. Estate plans should also be reviewed when there is a change in the tax law or other laws that can impact your estate.
Here are some life events that trigger a need to change your estate plan.
You Move to a New State
Every state has different estate planning laws. Many states require that a spouse inherit a specific share of the estate. Some states still have inheritance taxes. State laws vary on elements such as power of attorney, living wills, and advanced medical directives.
After moving to a state, update your estate planning documents as old documents may become invalid. Work with an estate planning attorney near you to establish proof that you recently changed residences. It is particularly important if you have a substantial amount of property and move from a state with inheritance taxes. If you do not change your address, your old state may tax your estate.
Your Assets or Liabilities Change
If the value of your assets or liabilities changes, review your estate plan. Review how the estate gets divided. Decide if you are okay with the existing arrangement or want to introduce changes in light of the new circumstances.
A change in the composition of your estate necessitates a review. If you bought or sold an asset that was a significant part of your estate, reevaluate your plan.
Executors or Trustees Become Inappropriate
Some circumstances that necessitate a change of executors or trustees are as follows:
➢ Your will executor or trustee becomes physically or mentally incapacitated and is unable to perform their duties.
➢ They are no longer willing to serve.
➢ Your estate plan has changed, and someone else now is a better choice.
➢ Your trustee/executor gets older, moves out of state, or passes away.
Your Retirement Plan is Outdated
Failing to update beneficiary designations of IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans can prove to be a detrimental mistake.
Many people do not know that the beneficiary of these accounts gets determined by the beneficiary designation form and not the will or trust. Remember to update beneficiary designation forms whenever you change beneficiary designations.
The Johnston Thomas Law consists of seasoned estate planning attorneys near you. No matter how complex your situation is, we will design a customized plan to fit your specific needs. To consult one of our professionals, call (707) 545-6542.