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Tips on maintaining your estate plan

Tips on maintaining your estate plan

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If you are one who understands the importance of having an estate plan, you may have already taken the first important step of meeting with an attorney. During this process, you most likely discussed and had and paperwork drawn up for a will, a power of attorney or perhaps a trust.

Reviewing the plan

Some may think that once their estate plan is set up, the work is finished. In order for the plan to be most effective, you should review your estate plan every few years to make sure that it is still current and up to date. Several factors may also necessitate a need for you to review your plan. These include the following:

  • Births and deaths – If your estate plan includes your ever changing family, then it will need frequent review. This type of checkup can help you realize if beneficiaries need to be added or changed due to family births or deaths.
  • Special needs – Few people expect for the life of a loved one to be severely altered by an accident or illness. In the case that this happens, some choose to revisit their estate plan so that they can make sure their family member will be taken care of after their death.
  • Tax Laws – Because the rate of estate tax changes every few year, reviewing your estate planning documents is very important. What may have been a good decision under the last set of tax laws may, unfortunately, end up costing your beneficiaries money with newer tax laws.
  • Ownership of Property – At times, property or items are listed in wills or trusts that you no longer own. This is typically because the estate plan was not properly changed to reflect the sale. It is important to make sure these changes in ownership are reflected in your estate documents.

In addition, people may also want to check on their beneficiaries. For instance, a person who goes through a divorce would not likely want to leave an ex-spouse as the recipient of money or property in the event of a death.

Those who have done the work of making sure that they have an estate plan in place typically do so to benefit those who will be left to deal with their assets. By making sure to have a frequent review of your estate plan, you will be able to ensure that it is current and up to date no matter how your life, and the lives of those around you might change.

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