A lot of people procrastinate before they put an initial estate plan in place, and once they do, they forget about it. They store the documents in a safe place, and they breathe a sigh relief once and for all. In reality, this is an approach that can create a host of problems.
Can you honestly say that you knew exactly how your life would be right now 10 or 20 years ago? If you are like most people, you would have no choice but to laugh a little bit at the suggestion. They say that the only constant is change, and that expression is repeated for a reason.
The estate plan that you originally create is going to reflect your life at that time. Along the way, many different events can take place that make your existing plan obsolete.
Some of them are unique to you and your family. There can be additions and subtractions, and you may find yourself in a much different financial place. Unfortunately, divorces are not uncommon, and in most cases, people that are in this position eventually get remarried.
Your feelings about certain people on your inheritance list can evolve as well. You may have named an executor or trustee that passes before you do. These are some of the personal events that can trigger the need for an estate plan update, but there are many more of them.
Then there are societal changes that are outside of your control that can have an estate planning impact. For example, you may establish your plan when you are not exposed to state or federal estate taxes. The government could alter the rules, and this could lead to estate tax exposure.
Under those circumstances, you could change your plan to reduce your estate tax liability. If you were to do nothing, the lack of action could cost your family a great deal of money.
Estate Plan Reviews
In some cases, you will know that you need an estate plan revision because the need is very obvious. If you get divorced and there are severe hard feelings, you would recognize the fact that you have to change the beneficiary designations. On the other hand, some outdated portions can be harder to detect.
Actually, when we review estate plans with clients, some of them don’t even remember all of the details of their original plans. This is understandable if you have a will or trust that has been untouched for 30 years or more.
It is wise to schedule an estate plan review every few years. If you take this approach, your plan will always reflect your current intentions. This will give you peace of mind, because your loved ones will be properly protected at all times.
Schedule a Review Right Now!
We are here to help if you would like us to review your existing plan, and of course, we can make updates if you know that they are necessary. Even if we did not work on the original plan, we can gain an understanding of your current situation and suggest the appropriate revisions.
You can schedule a consultation right now if you give us a call at 212-973-0100 . If you would prefer to reach out electronically, simply fill out our contact form and you can expect a prompt response.