Because very few things in life are constant, your estate plan will change.
How long has it been since you signed your estate plan?
You definitely need a review.
According to a recent article in the Nevada Appeal, titled “Is your estate plan obsolete?”, your family situation, laws or legal agents may change or need to be altered.
You or your children could get married, remarried or divorced.
You could welcome children or grandchildren into the clan.
One of your beneficiaries could be diagnosed with health issues.
You could bury a spouse or—heaven forbid—a child.
You may have no family and want to bequest your assets to a charity.
New tax codes, regulations or court decisions can all impact the effectiveness of your estate plan.
Your plan is not simply affected by beneficiaries but by those who have been given responsibilities regarding your estate plan.
These individuals include your executors, guardians or trustees.
Consider these situations.
Your estate plan currently leaves your spouse with a mere income interest and no distributions of principal.
Have you checked interest rates lately?
Unfortunately, this may be insufficient.
What can you do?
Because of lower interest income and low interest rates, you can allow a fixed amount or a percentage to be paid to your spouse from a combination or income, capital gain or principal.
The other situation?
You suffer a stroke.
Your family wants to discuss your medical issues with your doctor, but they cannot.
Your healthcare power of attorney is not in compliance with HIPAA rules.
Do you see why reviewing and updating your estate planning documents is crucial?
An experienced estate planning attorney, who has been there and done that, can help make sure your plan is ship-shape.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Nevada Appeal (October 11, 2016) “Is your estate plan obsolete?”