You’ve worked hard to build your wealth and a strong estate plan is a great way to ensure that the people you love are taken care of after you pass. Even if you have taken the time to create an estate plan, it is important to note that trusts and wills should be updated throughout your life – especially older adults. An estate plan review is a good time to be sure that your wishes haven’t changed since your attorney drafted your documents. Here are three reasons why your estate may need a checkup:
- Children and Grandchildren
If you have minor children or grandchildren included as beneficiaries, you should review your estate plan at least every three years to ensure it still reflects your wishes and contains the most up-to-date information on all of your beneficiaries. Trusts that were created for minors may no longer be needed, or new beneficiary trusts may need to be added. Your estate plan may also need to be updated if children have married or divorced, or have had other major life changes – all of which can affect their inheritance.
- Changes in Net Worth
In addition to beneficiaries, your will should be reviewed for changes in your assets and overall net worth. If your assets have increased, you may need to review the terms of your trust or will to review the amount you are leaving to each beneficiary. Your may also need to take advantage of additional planning tools to protect your estate. A trust can protect your assets from probate, and beneficiary trusts can help ensure that your assets go to the right people.
- Changes in The Law
Changes in tax laws or how property is distributed can affect who receives certain assets or what happens with any gifts you’ve made. The estate-planning tools you use may also be affected. For example, if your home is subject to a reverse mortgage, it’s important to update any deed restrictions so the property won’t be subject to the debt once you pass away.
Preparing your estate plan was a major decision – so be sure it’s still protecting what matters most. Reviewing your plan every three years can help ensure everything stays on track for those you’ve left behind. If you live in the Southern Tier and need to determine if your will, trusts or other estate planning documents should be updated, we can help. Contact Roth Elder Law, PLLC at 607-962-6162 today for a consultation.