People in Florida who have estate plans in place need to take some time every year to ask themselves some important questions. Like most types of legal protections, an estate plan can require change and updates. While your estate planning attorney will keep you abreast of important changes in the law that might affect your estate plan, asking yourself these questions every year can ensure that you stay on top of your estate planning efforts.
Estate Planning Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Every Year: Have your finances changed?
If you’ve recently experienced a significant change in your financial circumstances, your estate plan may need to reflect this. For example, if you’ve acquired or sold real estate, have significantly increased your wealth, or have lost significant assets recently, you may need to make a variety of changes to your plan. These changes can affect your estate tax strategy, your inheritance plan, health care concerns, and more.
Estate Planning Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Every Year: Has your family situation changed?
Any significant changes in your family circumstances should prompt you to update your estate plan. For example, if you’ve recently gone through a divorce, or are considering initiating a divorce, you need to talk to your estate planning attorney as soon as possible. similarly, if you’ve had a child, have welcomed a new grandchild, or have had a family member die, you may need to revise your inheritance plan to reflect this new reality. Note, revising your plan may be necessary even if you don’t plan on leaving the new family member an inheritance.
Another important factor to consider is the practical effects of family changes. For example, let’s say that you named your oldest son as your agent under your springing durable financial power of attorney. If your son has now moved away and is no longer located close to you, will that affect his ability to manage your finances if you become incapacitated? If so, you may need to update your plan and select a new agent.
Estate Planning Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Every Year: Have your choices changed?
Regardless of factors such as family or finances, you may have had a change of heart that could require you to change your estate plan. Have you changed your mind about end of life care issues? Do you want to adjust your inheritance plan to give more to charitable organizations? Do you want to include additional protections against incapacity?
Your estate plan needs to reflect your current wishes, and anytime those wishes change, you need to talk to us so we can make sure you have the plan you want.