I hope that everybody enjoyed the holiday season with family and friends. The new year is a time when many of us take stock of various things in our lives, be it our careers, our finances or that exercise routine we never got around to starting last year (guilty as charged). As 2015 begins, you may want to consider something else: your estate plan.
Periodic review and updating is essential to the success of every estate plan. Perhaps you have a new grandchild for whom you want to provide. Maybe you bought a house. Or the trustees you named in your trust document will no longer be able to serve. The bottom line is, over time, it’s possible that your estate plan does not reflect your wishes like it did when originally created. Therefore, it is important that your estate plan change along with your life. This need not be an arduous process. It could be as simple as signing a new signature card for a bank account or amending a single provision of your trust.
Think of your estate plan like your IRA or 401(k). You would never buy a stock and keep it in your account forever regardless of how the share price changed: instead, you monitor the share price and sell the stock to lock in gains or avoid losses. You should take the same approach to your estate plan by reviewing it with your attorney on an annual or semi-annual basis and updating as needed.
Until next time, I wish all a happy and healthy 2015!