Why is Revising Your Estate Plan Important?

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Revising your estate plan is an essential step.

You knew you needed to set up an estate plan.

In fact, you set up an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney and followed through.

Congratulations!

An estate plan is now in place.

You are done.

Or are you?

According to a recent Dayton Business Journal article titled “Baird expert gives estate planning advice,” this is not the case.

Revising your estate plan should happen over time.
It may be time to start revising your estate plan.

Revising your estate plan may be required for internal or external reasons.

Federal and state laws change.

In recent years, the federal estate tax exemption amount rose from $3.5 million to $11,580,000.

This is a significant increase by any measure.

In addition to this, the estate tax exemption is now portable.

This has simplified estate tax planning for the 99% of Americans.

When you consider the newly enacted SECURE Act, you likely need to update reconsider how your IRA is distributed to heirs.

You may also need to prioritize revising your estate plan for personal changes such as marriages, births, divorce, or deaths in the family.

As you age, revising your estate plan may be essential to address changing needs.

Those in their 20s may only need a general durable power of attorney (for financial decisions), an advance health care directive, a HIPPA authorization form, and a last will and testament.

When people enter their 40s, their estate plan may need to update their “incapacity planning,” incorporate planning for minor children, to include inheritance distribution planning.

In addition, especially when planning for the next generation, those in mid-life may also need to assist their aging parents with long-term care and end-of-life planning.

Those who are in their 60s are likely nearing retirement or already in retirement.

They may choose to review their estate plans to include legacy planning through a charitable remainder trusts and reviewing the titling of their assets and beneficiary forms.

It is especially important for these individuals to consider the most efficient means of passing inheritances on to loved ones.

Your estate plan should change to reflect new laws and new stages of life.

A good rule of thumb is to review and revise your estate plan every two years with your experienced estate planning attorney.

Your estate planning attorney can evaluate whether your plan is still tax efficient and is properly aligned in terms of your beneficiary designations and asset titling.

Revising your estate plan will keep your goals on track.

Reference: Dayton Business Journal (February 4, 2020) “Baird expert gives estate planning advice”