When you put your first estate plan in place, you should go into it with the knowledge that you are entering into an ongoing process. As time goes on, things in your life will change, relevant laws can be amended, and new ones will be enacted.We live in a dynamic world, and we all have to move along with it in many ways. At some point, it is very likely that your estate plan will need an update, and multiple revisions may be necessary over the years.
Family Status Changes
A change in marital status is one of the most common reasons why an estate plan adjustment can be needed. In fact, many people will be moved to take action for the first time when they get married, and the necessity is magnified when children come along.
As the family grows, you will want to alter your plan to reflect the new dynamic. There is also the possibility that someone that is part of your plan, like a guardian, a trustee, or an executor, will pass away.
Unfortunately, a significant percentage of marriages end in divorce, and this is yet another situation that will make your existing designations obsolete. If you work with our firm to devise your initial plan, we will be perfectly positioned to help you make these changes when they become necessary.
Your financial position should improve as you get older, and this can have an impact on your approach to estate planning in a number of different ways.
This applies to very few people, but it is possible that your estate could eventually enter taxable territory. There is a federal estate tax that carries a 40 percent top rate, so it can really erode your legacy if you are exposed.
The estate tax exclusion is the amount that can be transferred before the estate would be subject to this tax. It is in the millions of dollars, but it has been changed when the balance of power in Washington has shifted one way or the other.
You should always stay apprised of your situation relative to the tax laws, because there are steps that you can take to protect your resources for the benefit of your loved ones.
Incapacity Planning Documents
A well-constructed estate plan will account for possible incapacity. About one third of people that are 85 years of age and older have Alzheimer’s disease, and this is not the only cause of cognitive impairment. Physical problems can also make communication possible.
With a durable power of attorney for health care, you can empower someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if it becomes necessary. If the agent that you designate passes away, or if you want to change the designation for any reason, you can do so at any time.
A living will is a document that is used to state your life-support and organ and tissue donation choices. Your perspective with regard to these matters may evolve, and this is something to keep in mind when you are thinking about possible estate plan revisions.
Take Action Today!
If your estate plan should be revised, there is no reason to take any risks. You never know what the future holds, and you should make an effort to keep your plan up to date at all times.
We can certainly spring into action to update the plan if we already have a relationship, and if not, we will examine the existing documents and make the necessary changes.