I am often asked how often a client should review their estate plan. I recommend (and offer) a complimentary review with existing clients every two years – definitely every five years.
Often, however, we go through the process of planning, creating, and executing our estate plan. We put it in a safe place. And we never think about it again – or don’t think about it until there is an emergency.
Marriage, death, birth, divorce, and change of assets are good indicators that your estate plan may need to be reviewed. If you think about it, those are pretty big life changing events that would possibly change who the beneficiaries of your estate are. It might not only be those items for you directly – but possibly for any of your beneficiaries. For instance, maybe one of your children has a baby – and now you want to provide a gift for your grandchild. Or maybe one of your nieces has done well for herself, has a lot of investment properties and other assets, and no longer may benefit from your inheritance as she would have if she was younger, and now you want to provide for a charity that may benefit more from your inheritance. There’s endless ways how a change in death, birth, divorce, or assets can affect your estate plan. Often one of these events happen, and unless you’re an estate planning attorney, it never occurs to you to review and possibly change your estate plan.
Another reason why it’s good to review your estate plan every few years is because there are constantly changes in the law. Some of these changes may affect you and some may not. There are changes to both state law and to the effect of federal taxes on estates and beneficiaries. An attorney who deals primarily in estate planning should be up to date on these changes and be able to advise you if your documents need to be updated.
At Generations of Trusts, we offer the complimentary review of our current client’s estate plans because we enjoy seeing our clients and catching up on what is going in their lives; we want to make sure that clients’ estate plans are current with the law; and we want to make sure that any major life events haven’t changed your goals for your estate plan. – Afterall, our mission is to provide Generations of Trust.
Contact Us to schedule!