Your estate plan should change as your life changes.
You know you have an estate plan.
You remember going to see an attorney years ago.
He helped you create a plan to meet your current circumstances.
You were pleased and left with peace of mind.
You have not thought about it since.
You are not alone.
According to a recent New Hampshire Union Leader article titled “It’s important to periodically review your estate plan,” you still need to think about estate planning.
Estate planning is not a one-time fix.
You should review your estate plan with an experienced estate planning attorney regularly.
As your life changes, your estate plan should follow suit.
You could unintentionally disinherit a loved one or leave a large tax burden.
A common rule of thumb is to review your plan every three to four years.
In our law firm, we recommend every two years.
If you have a significant life change, you may need to review earlier.
These life changes include marriage or divorce, the birth or adoption of children, the death of a loved one, career changes, retirement, changes in the size of your estate, increases in debt, the death of an individual given responsibilities in your estate plan, changes in your own health, tax laws, or moving.
The list goes on.
If any of these occur, you need to schedule an appointment with your estate planning attorney.
You may need to create a trust now, if you did not have one before.
You may need to update your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies and retirement accounts.
You may need to address Medicaid or other healthcare related issues.
Tax laws may have changed.
Your updates should account for these changes.
Reviewing your estate plan is essential to protecting your loved ones for years to come.
Reference: New Hampshire Union Leader (January 12, 2019) “It’s important to periodically review your estate plan”