Years ago, Blake added a special needs trust, a revocable living trust, and a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust to his estate plan. He knew he should review his estate planning and his trusts every so often, but just never seemed to have the time. When Blake passed away recently, his family was left with a messy probate situation. Assets had been bought and sold, some heirs had predeceased Blake, and he had just finalized his second divorce. Hopefully, you have an estate plan and have formed any trusts you need on the advice of your attorney. However, it is important to update your Palm City trusts periodically.

Major Life Events

You may have heard that your estate plan should change when your life changes, and this is true. The Will you wrote 20 years ago may be used to distribute your assets, even if your wishes have changed.

Major life events that trigger an estate plan and trust review include:

  • When someone has been added to your family through birth, adoption, or marriage;
  • When someone has left your family, such as through death, divorce, or estrangement; and
  • When your net worth increases or decreases.

Sometimes events occurring outside your family circle show you it is time to update your trusts.

Laws or Tax Regulations in Palm City

You probably have heard about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law by President Donald Trump. The tax reform provisions of this law raised the estate tax exemption from a little over $5 million to $11.18 million per person. In 2019, the exemption increased to $11.4 million per individual.

Reducing estate tax is a common goal for people working on their estate plans. While the increased exemption certainly helps, remember that:

  • This law will expire in 2025 absent action by Congress; and
  • Your estate plan may need to be adjusted to reflect the current tax law.

In addition, other laws and regulations may affect your estate planning strategies. Your best course of action is to consult someone who stays current on laws that may affect your future – an experienced estate planning attorney.

It May Be Time to Update Trusts If They No Longer Serve Your Purposes

Changes in law or in your life circumstances can trigger a review of your estate plan – and your trusts. As always, never form or alter a trust until you have consulted with an experienced lawyer.

At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we help clients develop estate plans, create trusts, and then keep both up to date. Please contact us at 772-218-0480 to schedule an appointment or fill out our Contact Form. We are located in Palm City and Stuart, Florida, and serve clients in surrounding communities like Stuart, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter, too.

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