By creating an estate plan, you have already taken the first step to protect yourself and your family. It is crucial, however, to ensure that your estate plan is kept up to date and functions properly. Take a look at the list of important events below to see if it is time to revise your will or trust.
Recent Good Fortune. Did you make a fortune in the market, sell your home or make some other good investment? Sell a business? Receive an inheritance from a loved one? If so, you may need to alter your estate plan to account for your recent good fortune. This is particularly true with a trust because the assets must be funded into the trust.
Financial Setback. Have you experienced any financial woes? If so, there may be an opportunity to reduce your gift transfer tax or simplify your estate plan.
Change in Family Relationships. Has there been any additions or subtractions from the family? A marriage, divorce, or breakup may require changes to your estate plan. This includes updating retirement accounts, life insurance policies, jointly titled bank accounts, brokerage accounts and real estate documents. Estate planning for second marriages is incredibly important.
Becoming a Parent or Grandparent. Becoming a parent or grandparent provides many estate planning opportunities. For new parents, be sure to put a plan in place to provide for your minor children if you cannot. Naming a guardian is the first step. For new grandparents, make sure your estate plan covers the new addition to the family.
Loss of a Loved One. Losing a spouse or other loved one is devastating. When the pain subsidies it is important to remember that the loss of a loved one, particularly a spouse, can have a dramatic effect on your estate plan. You may also need to update your trustee, executor, beneficiary, or guardian.
Incapacity of a Spouse or Loved One. Our attorney provides thoughtful and sensitive counsel to persons dealing with mental health issues and disorders, developmental disabilities, and the elderly. If you or a loved one are dealing with one of these issues you may want to update your estate plan before it is too late.
Change of Address. Have you bought or sold a house. If so, your estate plan needs updated to reflect this change. Have you moved out of state? Be sure to see how this impacts your plan.
A Foreseeable Need for a Nursing Home. The need for nursing home care has a significant impact on your assets and signals an urgent need for changes to your estate plan. Time is of the essence if you wish to qualify for Veterans Benefits or Medicaid.
Your Children Have Grown Up. Was your estate plan written when your children were young? If so, your estate plan likely needs updated. Your children are older and so are you. You circumstances have changed. Time to revisit your plan as you look towards retirement.
Regular Checkups. It is never a bad idea to have your plan reviewed. Do you have questions or concerns regarding your estate plan? We are happy to meet with you and answer your questions.
Desired Changes. Do you want to change your estate plan? Has your choice of executor, guardian, trustee, or beneficiaries changed? Now is the time to update your plan.
Do I Need to Update My Will or Trust?
Here is a checklist of a few things to consider this year as you review your estate plan. If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you should consider setting an appointment with us.
___ Increase or decrease in your assets
___ Receive an inheritance
___ Wedding, divorce, break up
___ Loss of a loved one
___ Birth or adoption of a child or grandchild
___ Children have grown up
___Loss of your executor, guardians, trustees, etc.
___ Desire to change your executor, guardians, trustees, etc.
___Desire to provide for a charitable or other organization
___ Started a business
___ Sold a business
___ Desire to change your heirs or beneficiaries
___Bought or sold a home or other real property
___Moved out of state
___Need to care or provide for a loved one with a mental health issue, disorder, or developmental disability
___Need to pay for nursing home
___It has been three years or more since you have reviewed your estate plan
Did you answer yes to any of these questions? If so, it is time to set up your free consultation with us today. Download this Checklist!
Let Us Help You Update Your Estate Plan
We are a five star rated law firm. Our office is located in Plymouth, Michigan. Our Plymouth will and trust attorney serves all of Southeastern Michigan and Ann Arbor, including Plymouth, Livonia, Northville, Novi, Canton, and Farmington Hills. We can help you update your estate plan. We also offer exceptional legal services in the areas of Elder Law, Special Needs Trusts, Probate, Will and Trust Administration, Private Foundations, Charitable Trusts, medical power of attorney, durable power of attorney, and more!
About the Author: Aaron R. Shahan is an attorney at Atlas Law, PLC. Aaron dedicates his practice to virtually all aspects of estate planning, elder law and probate.