When Should I Update my Estate Plan?

If you have created an estate plan, you have taken a very important step in protecting your family. However, it is important to understand that you cannot simply file your estate plan away and forget it. This can result in unintended and costly consequences. Not only does your life change, but so do the tax laws. You put a lot of time and effort into creating your estate plan, so it is essential to review it regularly and ensure that it still reflects your wishes and that you will obtain the maximum benefit from it.

25765577_sWhen your estate plan was drafted, your attorney considered a variety of factors such as estate tax, gift tax, income tax and other rules governing the distribution of your estate. The tax laws are always changing and your finances have likely changed too. Having your estate plan reviewed can verify that your financial goals are still being accomplished in the most effective way.

So, when should you have your estate plan reviewed? In most situations, having an estate planning attorney look over your estate plan every few years is sufficient. However, if you have experienced a major life event or had a substantial change in your finances, you should update your plan. This includes events such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, adoption, death of a spouse or other similar events that could impact the distribution of your estate.

Is it expensive to have my estate plan updated? Usually, a simple review of your estate plan is not expensive. However, the longer you wait in between reviews the more updates that are likely to be needed. In order to keep the cost low, many attorneys suggest having your estate plan reviewed each year. In all events you should review it annually to make sure that the guardians, trustees and personal representatives are kept updated.

Whether you need to draft the initial documents to create an estate plan or you have an existing plan that needs to be updated, let us help. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.