Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan

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Published by Ben Goethel

While I no longer prepare estate plan documents, as a former practicing estate planning attorney, I know how important it is to review your estate plan with regular frequency and at least as often as every three to five years. It’s also good practice to review your estate plan after any life events, such as the birth of a child. I’m currently at that age where this seems to be happening to several of my friends, classmates and co-workers.

In addition to the birth of a child, it’s a good idea to review and update your plan for other life events, including:

  • Change in your marital status
  • Change in children’s/beneficiary’s marital status
  • Change in financial status
  • When minor children or grandchildren become adults
  • Birth of a grandchild
  • Changes in your number of dependents, such as the addition of caring for an adult
  • Change in financial goals
  • Disability and illness
  • Change in insurance coverage
  • Purchase or sale of a home or other large asset
  • Purchase or sale of a business
  • Borrowing a large amount of money or taking on liability for any other reason
  • Large increases or decreases in the value of assets, such as investments
  • If you or your spouse receives a large inheritance or gift
  • Moving to a new state
  • Starting a new job or receiving a promotion
  • Needs of beneficiaries have changed
  • Changes in estate tax laws

In today’s ever changing world, reviewing your estate plan frequently is necessary to ensure your legacy is passed on to your beneficiaries as you intend. Some people know they have a will or a trust in place, but they are unsure as to who they named as Personal Representative/Executor/Trustee and ultimately, how their assets will pass. Sitting down with a professional to discuss your current estate plan and explaining the ultimate disposition of your financial legacy can bring to light deficiencies in your plan due to changed circumstances or updated estate tax laws.

Though the Wealth Enhancement Group does not prepare estate plan documents, we can review your current estate plan and work with your attorney to update the plan to ensure your intent becomes reality!

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