Do You Need to Revise Your Estate Plan?

If your will is over 5 years old, you probably need to revise the documents.

Why Do You Need To Revise or Update Now?
Because the laws that effect your estate plan change frequently. For example, medicaid (nursing home laws), power of attorney rules, and estate, gift and inheritance tax laws change with some frequency.
Also, your personal circumstances often change enough in 5 years to make substantial changes likely. Do you still live in the same state? Are the guardians of your children and their trustees still local and convenient to them? Do the trust ages still make sense? Should young adult children now be the executors? Have you purchased more insurance? Are your assets worth much more or much less?

These are all good reasons to change your estate planning documents. However, the last minute change in the federal estate tax law makes reviewing and revising your estate planning documents such as wills, powers of attorney, and living wills even more important than usual.
In addition, Congress allowed the estate tax to lapse, but it does return next year with worse tax consequences than ever for many people. To make matters worse, during the time when the law has lapsed, there is a very complicated new law that applies and still limits gifts and makes many inheritances taxable for capital gains tax purposes.

Finally, your existing documents may contain a trust formula that no longer works. What? Why? Well, almost no one, not even Congress, ever thought that they would allow the tax to lapse. So, most estate planning professionals drafted documents that worked well under the existing system and under the proposed changes. However it might not work under the no estate tax system that we now have.

Bottom line:
Make sure to make an estate planning review part of your goals and resolutions for this year. Make sure that this is one of those goals that you’ll achieve. Call now to make your appointment. It is easy, inexpensive and quick to have an estate planning review. For our clients, we provide a will review at no charge if you mention this article.