Does Your Estate Plan Need an Annual Checkup?

We are encouraged to get regular dental checkups and the dreaded annual physical. We schedule spring cleaning, annual vacations, and maintenance on our automobiles and boats. Shouldn’t our estate planning documents get the same careful attention? During National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we invite you to review your current estate plan.

When was the last time?

Like most people, your to-do list is long and hard to prioritize. Sometimes, important tasks are left off the list. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you looked at your Will and related documents. If so, this is a great time to make sure they are as up to date as possible.

Pull your estate planning documents out and dust them off. Then read them carefully to see if they still accurately reflect your life and your final wishes.

Has your life changed?

If it’s been awhile since the documents were drafted, your life has likely changed. Marriage, divorce, birth or death could trigger significant modifications. Likewise, your financial situation may have changed, and you may need different strategies to deal with probate and potential estate tax issues. Major changes to your life or lifestyle could make your estate difficult to settle if your documents have not kept up with your lifestyle. To avoid lengthy court battles, talk to an attorney about revising your documents.

Changed your mind about bequests?

It’s not unheard of for people to want to modify the bequests contained in their Will or Trust. Maybe a family member has fallen out of favor with you or a former best friend has grown estranged. It’s even possible that the value of your estate has decreased or increased significantly. Reviewing your Will or Trust at least once a year ensures that it still meets the needs of you and your heirs.

State and federal laws in flux.

Laws and statutes regarding estate planning are not immune to changes themselves. We may not even be aware when laws change – until something goes wrong. This type of news is not exactly on most people’s news feeds or on the front page of the newspaper. An attorney skilled at Florida estate planning will understand current laws and how they affect your estate.

Take action today.

There are a million excuses for not putting together a good life care plan or for ignoring your estate plan. But there’s one really good reason to periodically review your plans – your family.

Pull out those dusty documents hiding in the bottom of your safe or lockbox and let your attorney have a go at them. At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we help clients build a solid foundation for their estates, then help them to make sure that plan stays in good shape. Please contact us at 772-324-9050 to schedule an appointment or fill out our Contact Form. We are located in Palm City, Florida, and serve clients in surrounding communities like Stuart, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

No Will? There’s A Way: Florida Intestate Proceedings
Probate & Trust Administration
What Is Probate? 
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Probate 
Is Probate An Expensive Process?
Understanding Probate: An Overview Of The Florida Probate System
Should I Try To Avoid Probate If Possible?
Estate Planning Basics: Why Avoiding Probate Is Preferable
How Can I Avoid A Long, Complex Probate Process?
Are There Any Assets That Are Not Required To Pass Through Probate?
Executing An Estate: 8 Key Duties Of The Executor  
A Brief Overview Of Portability
Hollow Testaments: Understanding Florida Holographic Wills
Rule 41f And The Continuing Importance Of Gun Trusts

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.