If it’s been a while since you last talked to your lawyer, you should make some time to review your estate plan as soon as possible. For a lot of people in Florida, estate plans are something they create, set aside, and don’t think about after they have gone through the creation process. While this may not be a problem for years, it could be a problem down the road. Further, because your plan has been dormant for so long, there could be significant problems with it that you simply do not know about. Here are several reasons why you should review your estate plan on a regular basis.
Review your estate plan because the laws change.
For many people, estate plans are there to protect their estates from the looming specter of estate taxes. However, while the estate tax issue was a significant concern in years past, in recent years it has diminished considerably.
A lot of people who created an estate plan years ago don’t realize that the tools they created to protect their estates from high taxation rates are no longer necessary. In fact, getting rid of some of these tools and using more simplified and streamlined options is probably a much better choice for people who had created more complicated estate tax mitigation tools in the past.
Beyond the estate tax issue, the laws change regularly. Periodically reviewing your plan with your estate planning lawyer is always a good idea simply because there may be new legal options, or requirements, of which you are not aware.
Review your estate plan because your choices change.
If it has been years since you reviewed your estate plan you may be surprised to realize that the choices you made in it no longer reflect your current desires. Many of your estate planning choices, such as medical decisions, inheritances, and other issues, can change over time. In other situations, people simply forget about the choices they originally made when they created their plan, and don’t realize that the plan no longer represents their current wishes.
Review your estate plan because your life can change.
Beyond changes in the law and personal wishes, there may also be a need for you to review and update your plan because the circumstances of your life have changed significantly. People die, get remarried, have children, and experience any number of life changes that can alter how you view your estate plan.
If, for example, you created a plan prior to having grandchildren, you will likely want to review that plan now if you intend on leaving your grandchildren an inheritance, or including them in any part of your plan.
Beyond that, changes in financial circumstances can also have a significant effect on the kinds of choices you want to make with your plan. Updating it and reviewing it regularly is absolutely essential if you, for example, have recently lost a job, had a change in financial fortunes, or have experienced any significant change in your net worth.