Because circumstances change over time, it is important to revisit one’s estate plan regularly and ensure that all information is still relevant. This will help your loved ones carry out your exact wishes in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly. Here, the experienced estate planning attorneys at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger have provided information below regarding how and why to routinely update an estate plan.
How Often Should Reviews Occur?
It is important that the information in an estate plan, including that in one’s will, medical directives and any stated beneficiaries, is as current as possible so that the provisions are carried out efficiently and effectively after an individual passes.
The review and revision of an estate plan should occur both at regular intervals and following substantial life changes. It is typical to review an estate plan every three to five years to ensure the information reflects current laws and circumstances, so long as there has been no change in circumstances.
Reasons for Estate Plan Revisions
An estate plan should be reviewed following any changes in assets or property, such as the purchase of a home or other large asset, new accumulation of loans, an increase or decrease in the value of assets or after receiving a large inheritance. A review may also be in order following a career change.
Death of a Beneficiary
The death of any person listed in the will, whether it be a designated guardian, beneficiary or executor, is also a cause for a revision. Other important life changes such as divorce, marriage or illness of a spouse are also a means for a revision.
Federal or Local Tax Changes
It is important to update an estate plan following any changes in federal or state laws covering taxes and investments. The beneficiary designations on 401k, IRA, pension and insurance policies transfer assets in those accounts automatically to the beneficiary following the death of the account holder; it is thus important to consult an attorney to review and update one’s estate plan prior to reaching 70 1/2 years of age.
Consult the Maryland Attorneys at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger
Just as one’s life can look very different over the course of ten years, so will an estate plan. As such, it is important that the testator review their estate plan regularly, so that it is an accurate reflection of the reality of his or her life, and effectively carry out his or her wishes. The estate administration attorneys at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger understand the importance of updating an estate plan and have the experience to adequately tailor the plan to the needs of the client and to represent one’s best interest based on current legislation. Call us today to schedule a consultation!