A resume is a snapshot of your experience, skill set, and education that provides prospective employers insight into who you are and how you will perform. Imagine not updating your resume for five, ten, or even fifteen years. Would it accurately reflect your professional abilities? Would it do what you want it to do? Probably not. Estate plans are similar in that they need to be regularly updated to reflect changes in your life and the law so they can do what you want them to do. Outdated estate plans, like outdated resumes, simply do not work.
Take a Moment to Reflect
Think for a moment about all the changes in your life so far. What has changed since you signed your Will, Living Trust agreement, and other estate planning documents? If something has changed that affects you, your trusted helpers, or your beneficiaries, your estate plan probably needs to reflect that change. There are probably other changes of which you aren’t even aware: changes in state and/or federal laws, changes in tax laws, new court cases, and changes in the political landscape that portend more changes down the road that may affect your estate plan.
Below are examples of changes that are significant enough to warrant an estate plan review and likely updates:
● A new family member was born that you want to provide for in your estate plan (child, grandchild, etc.).
● A new family member was adopted.
● You, or someone else in your family, got married.
● You, or someone else in your family, got divorced or separated from a spouse.
● A loved one passed away.
● A loved one is now battling an addiction.
● One of your trusted decision makers is now incapacitated.
● A loved one is now disabled.
● You or a loved one is now suffering some health challenges.
● Your financial status, or that of a beneficiary, has changed, either for better or worse.
● You, or a trusted decision maker, or a beneficiary, moved to a new state.
● Your family circumstances have changed.
● Your business circumstances have changed.
● Laws pertaining to taxes, retirement accounts or benefits, property, or other relevant issues have changed.
Estate planning is usually at the bottom of a person’s to-do list. After it has been completed, most people do not think about it again; it is often treated like a bucket list item, and once completed is forgotten. Do not be like most people. Estate planning is an ongoing project that requires review and attention. There is no time like the present to review your estate plan. Call our office now to get your estate planning review scheduled. Ask about our FAMILY LEGACY PLAN™, an ongoing review process. As with most people, if it is on the calendar, you will make it happen. Just as you update your resume and meet with your doctor, dentist, CPA, or financial advisor regularly, you should meet with us regularly as well. We will ensure that your estate plan reflects your current needs and the needs of the people you love. Updating is the best way to ensure that your estate plan will do exactly what you want it to do.