Your estate plan is one of the most important investments you will ever make.
Life is fragile.
After all, your estate plan is the means through which you protect everyone you love and everything you have.
Unless you have been residing under the proverbial rock since December of 2017, you are aware of the sweeping tax law changes signed into law by President Trump.
Indeed, most of the focus has been on the income tax implications (e.g., keeping more of your own income to save or spend as you choose).
Nevertheless, with the changes to the estate tax and the possibility of its rollback in a few years, you should revisit your own estate plan.
Forbes magazine agrees.
According to its recent article titled "7 Reasons To Review Your Estate Plan, Trump Tax Law Aside," here are some suggested areas of review in no particular order of importance:
- Make sure your assets and property are still aligned with your estate plan to be distributed consistent with your objectives.
- Make sure the person you chose to be the executor of your estate is still able and willing to serve in that capacity.
- If you have minor children, then make sure the person you nominated as their guardian is still an appropriate choice.
- Reassess whether your family will be better served by using a trust or a will based on the mix of your assets.
- Review fundamental legal instruments, such as general durable powers of attorney and advance health care directives, to ensure they reflect your wishes.
- Determine if recent estate tax changes might warrant a simplification of your estate plan, especially in light of the "portability" option.
- Evaluate whether any gifting program you have implemented is still appropriate or whether you should start one if not currently gifting by design.
It goes without say that your money will be well-spent to engage an experienced estate planning attorney to assist you with this timely estate plan review.
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: Forbes (March 15, 2018) "7 Reasons To Review Your Estate Plan, Trump Tax Law Aside"