If you don’t remember how long it has been since you last reviewed your estate planning documents, it’s been too long. The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, a group devoted to promoting individual wealth through the creation and maintenance of an estate plan, designates one week in October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. It’s a great way to remember to review your estate plan.
Some people feel that once they’ve written one Will, they are done. If the Will was well-written, then there’s no need to review it, right?
But life changes.
And many of those changes will fundamentally alter the way you want your estate to pass to your beneficiaries. Some of the major life events that may prompt a review of your estate plans include marriages, divorces, adoptions, births of children or grandchildren, and deaths. Adding or losing members of your family for any reason could affect the way your estate is divided up. Occasionally, bequests include property that has been lost or sold. Specific bequests may have to be added or deleted based on changes in your family or your possessions.
It’s also very possible that your financial well-being has changed since you signed your Will. If your estate has increased or decreased in value, you and your attorney may need to develop strategies to deal with a modified tax burden. You may want to consider putting some of your assets in trusts or employing some gift-giving strategies to reduce the value of your estate. Asset protection is also an important part of your estate planning and should be discussed with your attorney.
After reviewing your Will, you may be assured that it is good “as is.’ But there may be changes to your other estate planning documents. What if someone you designated as an agent has moved away or died? Though you probably named a successor agent, it’s safer to simply substitute a new agent for one who can no longer serve.
Estate planning forms change also. With the adoption of revised estate planning and probate laws come new forms with new language. Do your estate planning documents need to be refreshed?
Make the call.
At Virtus Law, we have the experience and skills to analyze your current estate plan and make any necessary changes. Contact us by calling 612.888.1000 or by emailing us at email@example.com. We look forward to helping you in one of our conveniently-located office in Minneapolis, Edina, Mendota Heights, and Red Wing.