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Should You Update Your Virginia Estate Plan in the New Year

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Estate planning is such a critical part of our lives. It can ensure that we are protected against any future circumstances, and that our loved ones are protected as well. A Virginia estate plan gives us a way to create a legacy, which is something that can be in place long after we are gone. It also allows us to provide critical insight and eliminate confusion for our cherished loved ones who will dearly miss us when we are gone.

We often hear the question from our clients: Does a new year mean you have to have a new Virginia estate plan? While we endorse updating your Virginia estate plan so it reflects your wishes through our client maintenance program, simply because a year has ended and a new one has begun does not mean your Virginia estate plan must change. Instead, we would ask you to read through your existing estate planning to ensure that it still reflects your wishes for yourself, your loved ones, and your legacy.

As you read through your Virginia estate plan, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have there been new births in your family this year?
  • Have there been deaths this past year of people who are mentioned in your plan in one way or another?
  • Is anyone in your Virginia estate plan facing incapacity issues? Are there new diagnoses that might impact your loved ones? Was anyone determined to be disabled?
  • Has your financial institution let you know that it requires at this point, even though it may not be law, that your advance directives such as a power of attorney be updated every year?
  • Are there pets in your life now that need to be planned for and protected?
  • Are you thinking about retirement? Are you in retirement but worried about how to make sure that your money will last for the long term?
  • Are you worried about long-term care? Are you unsure that your loved ones will have enough guidance from you to know how you would wish them to act in the event that you were suddenly in a skilled nursing home or an assisted living facility?

These are just a few of the questions that we find ourselves frequently answering for our clients. The truth is, there is never a wrong time to update your estate plan. You need to ensure that it represents who you are, what your wishes are, and your goals for your legacy at all times.

We know this article may raise more questions than answers. We are here for you to help you answer your questions. We encourage you not to wait to schedule a meeting with attorney Donna Wilson now, or anytime in the future.