You may have taken the time years ago to create a comprehensive estate plan including a will, perhaps a trust, an advanced health care directive and power of attorney. Yet what has happened to those documents since they were executed? Are they collecting dust in a desk drawer or safe deposit box? If so, now is the time to review your estate plan to ensure it still meets your needs. The following are some considerations to keep in mind when reviewing your estate plan.
Did you move since you executed or last reviewed your estate plan?
Have you moved out of Nebraska to another state recently? If so, you will want to review your estate plan. Different states have different laws regarding what is needed to execute a valid estate plan. In addition, some states impose inheritance taxes and/or estate taxes so you will want to make sure your estate plan is crafted in a way that minimizes your tax liability.
Did you divorce or lose a spouse or other family member?
When you executed your estate plan you may have been happily married. However, as life goes on you may have divorced or your beloved spouse may pass away before you do. If so, you will want to ensure your former spouse is not listed as a beneficiary on accounts such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts.
In addition, did you lose or gain an heir during your lifetime?
As your children, if you have any, grow up they may have children of their own. Being a grandparent is a joy for many seniors. You can review your estate plan and amend it to ensure the new arrival will receive an inheritance if you wish. And, sadly, sometimes we lose a child during our lifetime. When this happens, you will want to review your estate plan to accommodate the fact that your child is no longer alive.
Regular reviews can ensure that your estate plan is up to date
As this shows, there are many good reasons to review your estate plan regularly. This way you can ensure it still meets your wishes and will be enforceable when the time comes. If the idea of reviewing your estate plan or estate planning in general seems daunting, do not worry. With the right help you can be well on your way to ensuring your estate plan is up to date.