When Is an Estate Plan Review Necessary?

Estate plan review
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An estate plan review ensures your plan will work when needed.

Most things in life require maintenance.

If you do not invest in your marriage, you will likely grow apart from your partner.

Failing to change the oil in your car will kill your engine.

According to a recent Forbes article titled “5 Reasons To Have Your Parents’ Estate Plan Reviewed,” your estate plan also requires maintenance and updates.

An estate plan review should happen every few years.
You should schedule and estate plan review every few years.

If it has been at least four years since you have had an estate plan review, you should schedule an appointment with your experienced estate planning attorney.

My professional opinion is that you should review your estate plan at least every two years, with or without a set of “legal eyes” on it!

Why is this important?

Financial institutions do not like old documents.

A twenty-year-old power of attorney will often be met with hesitation at a bank.

Although this may seem inconvenient, the institution is trying to protect the assets of the client.

With old documents, one is more likely to question whether the individual named as agent is still the appropriate party.

For this reason, many institutions will require the attorney who created the documents to attest to their validity.

It is often far simpler and safer to schedule an estate plan review to update your old document.

State laws change.

This fact is quite apparent during election years.

Politicians make promises on what they will do differently.

When elected, they begin to change legislation.

As government officials come and go, your estate plan will require adjustments.

An estate plan review allows you to learn how these changes will influence the execution of the plan you currently have in place.

Estate planning language changes.

Legal language is quite nuanced.

How something is said can have positive and negative consequences.

Sometimes laws change leading to the need for different terms to be used to account for the differences.

Fees, penalties, and taxes are the consequences of outdated language.

Estate laws change over time.

Although there are many examples of this over the years, we are now hearing that the current occupant of the White House wants to lower the estate tax exemption set by the former occupant from $11.7 million per taxpayer down to around $3 million.

That is a big swing right there.

As a result of tax and estate law changes, an estate plan review and revisions may be required to ensure there are funds to cover any taxes levied on your assets.

Wishes may be ignored.

You may make an arrangement with your spouse or another family member.

If one of you dies and your estate plan is not updated, the wrong people may inherit your assets.

Meeting with an experienced estate planning attorney for an estate plan review would easily solve such problems.

ReferenceForbes (May 25, 2021) “5 Reasons To Have Your Parents’ Estate Plan Reviewed”

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