New Year, New Estate Planning Documents?
Each year, millions of Americans greet the new year with hopeful resolutions in their hearts. Most of these goals tend to relate to health and fitness, finances, and career development. However, it may be imperative to have an additional goal in mind – one that is normally not thought of during the new year: reviewing your estate plan. Now that 2018 has concluded, you may want to review your estate plan to see if it should be revised or updated. After all, your personal and financial circumstances may have significantly changed in the last 12 months.
Your estate plan should be updated to account for the following scenarios:
- Marriage or divorce
- Purchase or acquisition of real property
- Moved to another state
- Relationship fallouts with Trustee(s) or Personal Representative(s)
- Beneficiary changes
- Death(s) in the family
- Birth or adoption of a child
- When a child becomes an adult
- Illness of a spouse/loved one
- Changes in the federal taxation
A comprehensive estate plan serves three vital functions: it prepares your appointed fiduciaries for unexpected medical emergencies or your sudden passing; it safeguards your personal choices and end of life decisions; and it memorializes how your assets and property are to be distributed upon your death.
Changing Your Agents & Beneficiaries
An important reason to update your estate plan is to make necessary revisions to your list of appointed fiduciaries and beneficiaries. Your estate plan includes several key documents that safeguard your medical choices and financial assets. You should periodically update these documents to remove any beneficiaries who are deceased or simply no longer part of your life. Likewise, you may want to include new family members and trusted friends who have become important to you in the recent year.
Safeguarding Your Assets & Property
If you’re experiencing career changes or entering your golden years, you may want to review your estate plan with a qualified legal professional. These are critical life changes that can impact your will, trust, and other estate planning documents. Remember, the goal of estate planning is to make sure each of your documents reflect your current life circumstances. Any assets that are not included in your trust will need to go through the probate process before being distributed to your beneficiaries.
It is important to remember that federal tax laws change periodically. If it’s been a few years since you last reviewed your documents, it’s possible that your estate plan is out of date. By working with an attorney, you can ensure that your estate plan is updated and in accordance with any applicable tax laws.
Update Your Estate Plan Today
It is never too late or too early to start planning for the future. If you are interested in drafting or updating your estate plan, contact the knowledgeable Boca Raton estate planning lawyer at SAMUELS WOOD PLLC. Our law firm is primarily focused on providing exceptional estate planning and elder law services to the residents of Florida.
If you’re ready to experience peace of mind, contact SAMUELS WOOD PLLC at 561-623-3314 to schedule a case evaluation.