Is it Time to Update Your Estate Plan?


Life is ever changing, and it is important to ensure your estate plan evolves with it. Aronberg Goldgehn recommends clients review their estate plan every three to five years or when there is a substantial life event, such as a major change in assets, a change in the family dynamic or a change affecting the family members or friends you have named as fiduciaries in your plan. Additionally, changes in the law or changes to the state or federal gift and estate tax exemptions can impact your estate plan.

Consider the following life events and the impact they may have on your estate plan:

  • Marriage or divorce;
  • A health diagnosis;
  • Illness or disability of your spouse;
  • The birth or adoption of a child or grandchild;
  • If a child or grandchild becomes disabled;
  • When a child or grandchild becomes an adult;
  • When a child or grandchild needs educational funding;
  • If a family member passes away, receives a diagnosis resulting in an illness or becomes disabled;
  • Career changes including a new job, a promotion or starting or closing a business;
  • The sale or purchase of real estate;
  • A move to another state;
  • Retirement;
  • Death or change in circumstances of the guardian named in your will for minor children;
  • Death or change in circumstances of the agent or successor agent under your Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property, the executor named in your Will and the successor trustee of your Revocable Trust;
  • Changes in your number of dependents, such as the addition of caring for an adult;
  • Changes in your or your spouse's financial goals or other objectives;
  • Change in your life insurance or long-term care insurance coverage;
  • Borrowing a large amount of money or taking on liability for any other reason;
  • Large increases or decreases in the value of assets, such as investments;
  • Receipt of a large inheritance or gift for you or your spouse; and
  • Changes in federal or state laws covering gift and estate taxes and investments.

Reviewing your estate plan at regular intervals, in addition to the occurrence of major life events, will help ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes. It will also provide you with peace of mind knowing that your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance as efficiently and seamlessly as possible.

If you have any questions about this alert, or would like to discuss changes to your estate plan, please contact a member of our Trusts and Estates Planning Group.

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