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Why You Need to Keep Your Estate Planning Documents Updated

Do you have an estate plan in place? If so, congratulations on taking this important step towards protecting your future for both yourself and your loved ones. While some people may think that estate plans are something that you create and forget, estate plans actually merit review and updates regularly to remain most effective and remain reflective of your goals. Let us discuss in more detail why you need to keep your estate planning documents updated.

An updated estate plan means that your estate plan continues to fall in line with your vision for the future and most effectively encapsulates your wishes. Failure to update your plan can have unfortunate consequences. For instance, has there been a birth in the family since you updated your estate plan? Failure to update your plan could mean unintentionally disinheriting this new addition. If you yourself have had a child since putting an estate plan in place, not updating your plan can mean that you miss out on the opportunity to name a guardian for your child who would ensure he or she is cared for after you pass away.

Have you gotten married or divorce since you put your estate plan in place? Failing to update your estate plan can mean your former spouse remaining as the listed beneficiary on assets or documents like retirement accounts. It could mean your former spouse remains your selected agent under a power of attorney or personal representative of your estate. If you have gotten married since you engaged in estate planning, it is likely that you will want to name your new spouse to these positions of responsibility and take steps to ensure your new spouse inherits that which you want from your assets and estate.

On top of all of this, estate plan updates are important not just because of life changes, but because of changes in the law. The laws that impact estate planning can change with some frequency and alter the effectiveness of an estate plan. For instance, you may have heard the recent buzz about potential estate tax law changes on the horizon. These changes stand to have some significant tax consequences for some individuals and it means now would probably be a good time to review estate plans to make adjustments or prepare to make adjustments accordingly.

Is it time for you to update your estate plan? Our office can help. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.