Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

You have done the prudent thing and established your estate plan many years ago.  However, if your trust documents are over 5 years old, you may want to consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to see if your plan needs any updating.  These are the top 5 reasons why you would want to update your plan

  • Changes in the Estate Tax Exemption: Since 2001, we have seen the federal estate tax exemption rise from $675,000 to 3.5 million and as a result many estate plans have unecessary estate tax planning which can place an undue burden on your loved ones.
  • Changes in your relationships with your trustees and beneficiaries: If the nature of your relationship with any of your appointed successor trustees or beneficiaries has changes for the worse, you should consider removing them from your estate plan or in the case of beneficiaries change the way they would receive your estate.
  • Your beneficiaries have issues:  If your designated beneficiaries have financial issues, substance abuse problems or are disabled and eligible for government benefits, you will want to adjust your estate plan to make sure your estate will be used to improve your situation and not make it worse.
  • Divorce:  Obviously if you get divorced or separated from the spouse you did you estate planning with, you will need to create a new estate plan to reflect your current circumstance.  This is especially critical now that your risk for having your estate probated if you pass on is much higher now that you are single.