Why reviewing your estate plan is prudent, even if your circumstances appear unchanged


Q: You recommend people review their estate plan every few years. I had a will drafted in Florida about ten years ago. I haven’t bothered revisiting it because nothing in my life has changed. What situations really require taking a second look?

A: An estate plan is not just any plan. It’s uniquely important because it is going to be your voice when you are no longer around. It must always be up-to-date.

Last posted by The Karp Law Firm | Herald Tribune

When our office creates an estate plan, we encourage the client to come back to see us in three years, or sooner if there have been changes in the client’s circumstances. That way we can be sure the plan is still up to snuff. Sometimes no fine-tuning is necessary, and that may turn out to be true for you. However, it’s not uncommon for us to find changes in the client’s circumstances that have slipped below his/her own radar and may reduce the efficacy of the plan. Changes in the law, which we monitor, may have a similar impact.

Space limitations prevent listing every scenario that may require revisiting your estate plan, so here are just a few:

‒ Have your children divorced, separated, married, remarried? Have you remarried? You may want to review your plan to ensure your children and grandchildren are protected.

‒ Have the value or nature of your assets changed significantly? You made need additional planning to reflect your estate’s current tax status.

‒ What about your health or the health of your spouse? Other family members? Are the people you wanted to serve as fiduciaries still able to do so?

Also, remember that a will is only one building block of a sound estate plan. A power of attorney and health care surrogate are also critical elements – and the laws related to those documents change, too.

It’s always prudent to review your plan periodically.

Original article can be found here.


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