How Often Should I Review My Estate Plan?
So you did the hard work of facing your own mortality and creating a will and estate plan–congratulations! You are already well ahead of the curb. However, there is sometimes a misunderstanding that once you have created an estate plan you are set for life. It’s understandable, considering the effort, thought, and formality that goes into creating your last will and testament. However, while this document may seem like it might as well be etched in stone, your estate plan can change, evolve, and be revised or restated for the rest of your life. While this may seem overwhelming, it’s actually a significant benefit that gives you more flexibility to change your after-life plans as your present life evolves. So how often should you review or update your estate plan? We’ll explore that below.
Reviewing Your Estate Plan
It’s possible that you will never have to make an adjustment to your estate plan, particularly if you make it later in life. However, it’s not safe to assume that no changes are necessary. It is still a good idea to regularly review your estate plan to make sure that it still meets your needs and matches your goals and long-term plans. Depending on the complexity of your estate, it may make sense to review it quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. It’s also important to review it when any major life changes occur. These changes may be things like a marriage or divorce, the birth of a new child or grandchild, the death of one of your beneficiaries, or opening or closing a business. Additionally, if your child or grandchild needs tuition assistance, you plan to make a large expenditure of your assets (such as buying a house), or you plan to assume a large amount of debt, it is important to check in with an estate lawyer who can assess the impact that these decisions will have on your estate and how best to navigate them. If there have been changes in the health or capacity of your spouse, this can also affect your estate planning needs, particularly if you may have to make arrangements for their long-term care. Many people also don’t realize that if they have minor children or grandchildren named in their will, they will have to update their will when the minors become adults. Occasionally, there will also be changes in state or federal law that will require you to change or adjust your estate plan in order to avoid certain tax penalties, take advantage of new protections, or comply with new legal requirements. As you can see, there is such a wide range of specific situations where you would benefit from an estate plan update, many of which you would probably have to be an estate tax expert to be aware of. For this reason, it’s a great idea to regularly have a qualified Florida estate attorney review your estate plan.
Schedule a Consultation with the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray
If you are ready to make an estate plan, or want to ensure that your existing estate plan meets your current needs, the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray are ready to help. Contact West Palm Beach estate planning lawyer Larry E. Bray to schedule a consultation and find out how he can help you protect your assets and meet your long-term goals.