A lot of people procrastinate before they put aninitial estate plan in place, and once they do, they forget about it. Theystore the documents in a safe place, and they breathe a sigh relief once andfor all. In reality, this is an approach that can create a host of problems.
Can you honestly say that you knew exactly how yourlife would be right now 10 or 20 years ago? If you are like most people, youwould have no choice but to laugh a little bit at the suggestion. They say thatthe only constant is change, and that expression is repeated for a reason.
The estate plan that you originally create is going toreflect your life at that time. Along the way, many different events can takeplace that make your existing plan obsolete.
Some of them are unique to you and your family. Therecan be additions and subtractions, and you may find yourself in a muchdifferent financial place. Unfortunately, divorces are not uncommon, and inmost cases, people that are in this position eventually get remarried.
Your feelings about certain people on your inheritancelist can evolve as well. You may have named an executor or trustee that passesbefore you do. These are some of the personal events that can trigger the needfor an estate plan update, but there are many more of them.
Then there are societal changes that are outside ofyour control that can have an estate planning impact. For example, you mayestablish 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 taxexposure.
Under those circumstances, you could change your planto reduce your estate tax liability. If you were to do nothing, the lack ofaction could cost your family a great deal of money.
Estate Plan Reviews
In some cases, you will know that you need an estateplan revision because the need is very obvious. If you get divorced and thereare severe hard feelings, you would recognize the fact that you have to changethe beneficiary designations. On the other hand, some outdated portions can beharder to detect.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 for30 years or more.
It is wise to schedule an estate plan review every fewyears. If you take this approach, your plan will always reflect your currentintentions. This will give you peace of mind, because your loved ones will beproperly protected at all times.
Schedule a Review Right Now!
We are here to help if you would like us to reviewyour existing plan, and of course, we can make updates if you know that theyare necessary. Even if we did not work on the original plan, we can gain anunderstanding 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.