Do you know when you need to update your estate plan? It can sometimes be difficult to tell, but just like your annual physical with your doctor, it can be important to regularly meet with your estate planning attorney to discuss whether your estate plan still serves your goals.
This year, there have been some major changes in laws. As of January 1, 2020, the SECURE Act significantly impacted the inheritance of retirement accounts. If you have not yet discussed whether and how this change will impact your estate plan, now is the time. Moreover, there are changes to tax and estate planning laws every year, and those changes will not impact everyone equally. Rather than trying to keep track of every change and determine whether it affects you, plan to talk to your estate planning attorney regularly so that he or she can keep you apprised of the changes that affect your estate plan. Similarly, estate planning is a matter of state law, which means every state has its own rules. If you have moved and have not updated your estate plan, now is the time.
Reflect on any changes in your family or your priorities. Births, adoptions, deaths, estrangements, medical diagnoses, and divorces may change how you want to leave your money and assets to your loved ones, or who you choose to be responsible for making financial and health care decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions yourself. Similarly, your charitable interests may change, and you may want to use some of your wealth to support new causes. These are all good reasons to review your estate plan and make updates.
In addition, if there is a significant change in your wealth, then you may need to make changes to your plan. This is particularly true if your beneficiaries are minors or even adult children who have not yet gained your confidence in their financial decision-making.
Should you have any questions about estate planning or related legal issues, our office is here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us today to schedule a meeting.