Review Your Estate Plan to Keep Pace with Your Life
At the heart of every estate plan are three goals: wealth preservation, asset distribution and planning to give control to a trusted person to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so. All three require a good deal of thought, planning, and the advice of skilled professionals. But the one thing that many people don’t address is the simple fact that things change. You may not want the same person you named five years ago to handle your affairs in the event of your passing or incapacity. A divorce or a break with a family member may also cause you to change how you want to distribute your assets.
The (Oak Creek AZ) Villager recently considered why it is so critical to review your estate plan every few years in “Updating your estate plan—When should you review?”
Over the years, your personal and financial health, along with your outlook on life may change to a great degree. So it’s key to be aware of the life events that may necessitate an updated estate plan.
- Just married or divorced? If so, your estate plan should be reviewed, and if your children or grandchildren marry or divorce, that’s another call to your attorney.
- Any loss or serious illness within your family? If yes, your named executor (Personal Representative in Florida) or health care agent may need to be changed. Also, if a family member is now physically or financially dependent on you, that’s another reason to review your plan.
- Has your net worth changed a lot since created your plan? If you’re now wealthier (or much less wealthy), your ideas about how you want your assets distributed at your death may have changed. Maybe you want to give more to a favorite charity or to one of your heirs. This is very important when client’s want to leave specific amounts, such as $100,000 to each living grandchild and the balance to their adult children. If the client has seven grandchildren and an estate of $700,000, their grandchildren will get their $100,000 each off of the top and the client’s own children may receive nothing.
- Changed your mind about what you want your wealth to accomplish? You might think of your wealth differently than you did when you were in your 20s.
- Have your executors (Personal Representatives in Florida) or trustees changed their mind about their roles? That can happen. If they’re no longer interested taking on the responsibilities, they’re passed away, or no longer have capacity, its revision time. Naming a is a good backup.
- Retired, moved to another state, or bought or sold real estate? A yes to any of these events means you should have an estate plan review with your attorney. In this regard, I would love for you to consider probate and estate planning attorney, Daniel T. Fleischer, Esq. He can be reached at 954-888-1747 or at Daniel@411probate.com.
First, when you revise your estate plan, you need to update essential documents. This includes not just your will or your trust, but also your financial power of attorney and health care proxy. The next step is to review your risk management. Perhaps a trust created long ago needs to be modified or swapped out. Check your life insurance beneficiary forms for any updating.
Third, be certain that your assets line up with your plan, such as transferring ownership of all those assets that are going into a revocable trust, as well as adding acquired new assets.
Your life isn’t the only thing that changes. Tax laws, markets, and changes to the business climate may also have a big impact on your estate plan. Your estate plan’s strategy needs to keep up with these changes. Don’t miss out on new opportunities because you didn’t want to be bothered with a review. Contact your estate planning attorney. You might not need an overhaul, just a quick look under the hood to make sure everything’s running well.
Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!
- My practice is exclusively estate planning and probate,
- I have prepared numerous estate plans in 16 years of practice,
- I have administered estates and trusts through Probate all over Florida,
- I am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, and
- I am here for YOU today and there for your FAMILY tomorrow.
Reference: (Oak Creek AZ) Villager (October 29, 2016) “Updating your estate plan—When should you review?”