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Regularly Reviewing Your Estate Plan: Ensuring Your Wishes are Protected

Regularly Reviewing Your Estate Plan: Ensuring Your Wishes are Protected

May 14, 2024

Your estate plan serves as a roadmap for how you want your personal and financial matters handled in the event of your incapacity or passing. It's crucial to periodically review your plan to ensure it aligns with your current circumstances and goals. Here's why and when you should consider reviewing your estate plan:

When to Review:

  • After Major Life Events: Any significant life changes, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, or the passing of a loved one, should prompt a review of your estate plan.
  • Yearly Quick Review: Conduct a brief review each year to account for changes in the economy, tax laws, or personal circumstances.
  • Thorough Review Every Five Years: Dive deeper into your estate plan every five years to ensure it remains comprehensive and effective.

Why Review:

Life is constantly changing, and so should your estate plan. Events such as changes in marital status, family dynamics, financial situation, or health should trigger a review to ensure your plan still reflects your wishes and protects your loved ones.

What to Review:

During your estate plan review, consider the following:

  • Beneficiaries: Are your chosen beneficiaries still relevant? Have any life events altered your relationships or intentions?
  • Will and Guardianship: Does your will accurately reflect your wishes for asset distribution? Are the chosen executor and guardian still suitable?
  • Medical and Financial Decisions: Do you have necessary documents like a living will or power of attorney in place to manage medical and financial decisions in case of incapacity?
  • Property and Assets: Review how your property is titled, update beneficiary designations for retirement plans and life insurance policies, and consider any trusts or business interests you own.
  • Tax Considerations: Evaluate potential tax implications for your estate, including gift, estate, generation-skipping, and income taxes at both federal and state levels.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

Every individual's estate planning needs are unique. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can provide invaluable assistance in reviewing and updating your plan to ensure it accurately reflects your wishes and protects your loved ones.

Remember, regular reviews of your estate plan can help ensure your wishes are protected and your loved ones are provided for as intended. Don't hesitate to seek professional guidance to ensure your estate plan remains current and effective.