Estate planning is an ongoing process. You must not only develop and implement a plan that reflects your current financial and family situation, you must also constantly review your current plan to ensure it fits any changes in your circumstances.
Of course, with the extensive changes under EGTRRA and the probability that more changes will occur in this decade, reviewing your estate plan regularly is now more critical than ever. You'll especially want to update it after any of the events listed in the Planning Tip.
To this end, use the estate planning checklist on the next page to identify areas where you need more information or assistance. Or jot down a few notes about things you want to look at more closely and discuss with a professional advisor. It may be easy for you to put off developing a detailed estate plan—or updating it in light of changes in tax law or your situation. But if you do, much of your estate could go to Uncle Sam—and this could be very hard on your family.
So please call us with any questions you have about the strategies represented here or how they can help you minimize your estate tax liability. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation and show how we can help you develop and implement an estate plan that preserves for your heirs what it took you a lifetime to build.
4 MORE REASONS TO UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN
1. Family changes. Marriages, divorces, births, adoptions and deaths can all lead to the need for estate plan modifications.
2. Increases in income and net worth. What may have been an appropriate estate plan when your income and net worth were much lower may no longer be effective today.
3. Geographic moves. Different states have different estate planning regulations. Anytime you move from one state to another, you should review your estate plan.
4. New health-related conditions. A child may develop special needs due to physical or mental limitations, or a surviving spouse's ability to earn a living may change because of a disability. Such circumstances often require an estate plan update.
Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.