The Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan

As you are finishing up spring cleaning and getting ready for your summer vacation, you happen upon that will an attorney drew up for you several years back. You take it out, dust it off and begin reading. Then you notice: the will says you have only one child, but now you actually have three (and the grocery bill to prove it). The charity to which you wanted to continue donating after you pass away unfortunately no longer exists. And you think, “Didn’t I see something in the news about Congress and the federal estate tax laws?”

For many people, estate planning is a one-time occurrence. As soon as the documents are signed, they don’t see the light of day for years or perhaps even decades. However, the world does not stop moving after you sign on the dotted line. New presidents are elected, each with their own set of beliefs and ideas for raising revenue and funding the government. The stock market goes up, then down…and back up again. Your personal values change, and so does your family. Maybe you start that business you’ve always dreamed of. As a result, the will or trust that was right for you 10 years ago might not work for you today. That’s why it’s vital to periodically review your estate plan. If it has been more than 2 or 3 years since you did your estate planning, then before you head off to the beach this summer, make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to go over your plan. Someday, your family will be thankful you did.

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