ARTICLE: Life Changes Determine Need For Updates To Estate Planning

Life Changes Determine Need For Updates To Estate Planning

An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to help you determine if your will, trusts or other estate plan documents should be updated to reflect the life changes in your personal situation. An estate plan can help organize your affairs so that your loved ones will have less stress during this difficult time. Estate planning is essential regardless of age or current assets and becomes even more important as we age and accumulate additional property.

Due to constant changes in laws and tax benefits, review of an existing plan is recommended every three or so years, but more frequent revisions may be necessary depending on the unique needs of each individual’s family and assets. Here is a list of 10 events that may cause your Will and/or your Trust to need updating:

  1. You move from one state to another.
  2. Birth or adoption of a child or grandchild.
  3. You will receive, purchase or inherit an additional piece of real property.
  4. Your family’s health changes, either through illness or accident. (It may be necessary to create new trusts called a Special Needs Trust that will provide for any potential long term care costs that are not covered by Medicaid or other services.)
  5. Marital status changes for your or someone named in your plan (either as a beneficiary or as an agent).
  6. Adoption of a new pet.
  7. Change in beneficiary designations for insurance policies, retirement accounts and/or other accounts such as adding children as beneficiaries to your IRA or other financial accounts.
  8. Purchasing another home or condo outside the state where you reside now. Reviewing with an attorney can help tell if this will impact any beneficiary designation on real estate property within that state; possibly requiring your Will or Trust to be updated.
  9. Death of a beneficiary under your Will or Trust may require an update to the Will or Trust unless you named alternative beneficiaries in the Will or Trust.
  10. A change in wealth or income. You will want to ensure that your Will or Trust adequately reflects all changes in assets over time so taxes are not inadvertently triggered due to underestimation. It may also be necessary to increase existing provisions for taxes, charitable gifts and other distributions.

It’s always a good idea to review your estate plan documents every three years, but more frequent revisions may be necessary depending on the unique needs of each individual family and assets. 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.

Contact Us Today

We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.