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How Often Should I Review My Estate Plan?
When speaking with a potential new client about coming in to complete planning, we always discuss any advance planning they may have already completed. Often times when they already have advance directives and a will, they think it is a one-and-done deal. However, there are certain life events that take place that would cause someone to update their estate plan:
- Births. You may want to consider the needs of a new child or grandchild. Your estate plan can protect your family through the use of trusts.
- Health. If you or a loved one require long term care, you will need to implement long term care planning to protect you and your assets.
- Special Needs. If you or a loved one has special needs, you can revise your estate plan to protect your loved one and maximize government benefits.
- Deaths. The loss of a loved one may necessitate revising your estate plan. You may need to change the name of your executor, your trustee, or agents under a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy or a guardian.
- Marriages. If you marry (whether a first or later marriage) or if your children are getting married, you may want to revise your estate plan to ensure your assets will pass in a protective way.
- Divorces. You will want to revise your estate plan if you or your children are having matrimonial problems. Revising your plan can protect assets from marital disputes.
- Moves Out of State. If you are considering moving to another state, then you want to have your estate plan reviewed to make sure it works in the other state.
- Changes in Estate Value. A substantial change in the value of your estate or changes in the tax laws since you designed your estate plan may require a revision of your plan to avoid additional estate taxes.
- Business Change. Certain business changes signal time for an estate plan review. These changes include starting, buying, or selling a business; entering into a buy-sell agreement that provides for the sale of your business interest when you die; changing your businesses’ legal form; and the death of a business partner or another important member of your business. Just as you want to protect your family, your business needs protection too.
- Tax Law Changes. On average, the tax law changes every couple of years. Any changes in the law may require an updating of your estate plan. Again, without proper planning, your family may unnecessarily pay additional estate taxes.
The best way to keep your estate plan up to date is to review it on a regular basis. We would be happy to help. We can review your plan with you and your other professional advisors to determine whether changes are needed. We also can tell you more about the estate planning strategies that are available to you. Contact us today to discuss updating your estate plan.
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530
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