Many people that create an estate plan for themselves and their families make the mistake of thinking that once the estate plan is drawn, thatís it. The fact is, estate planning is an ongoing process. Relocation, divorce, marriage, the death of a spouse or child who would have been beneficiaries, illness, moving out of the country, changes in wealth for better or worse... are all of what life is about... and are reasons to review your estate plan as well as your will.
Mandatory Will and Trust
Estate planning can often be complex and thatís why estate planners suggest a periodic review of your estate plan and reorganizing your assets. Planning your estate, creating a living will, and planning for a healthcare surrogate or medical power of attorney are all liquid choices. But these choices and all the work you put into them may fail, if continued revision is not attended to regularly.
Health Care Documents
Heath Care Directives, Health Care Power of Attorney, and the medical options in a living will, could be affected by changes within the law that could prevent your plans from being effective. It is recommended that estate plans and decisions about your health care in the event you cannot communicate should be revisited every one to three years.
Decisions Makers and Control
In addition, matters within your family can change, and as such, your estate and living will should be changed as well. Wealth transfer planning should be revised for a number of reasons in the event of changes in family or in personal assets; many of these reasons are personal while others may be caused by factors such as economic decline or incline, changes in retirement assets and changes in tax law associated with taxable estates.
Beneficiaries and Distributions
Beneficiaries can change too. Some die, some are born, divorces can change the affected children. Assisted living or government assistance can destroy beneficial interests (or vice-versa). Immature beneficiaries need distributions to be managed and reviewed.
Taxes and Wills and Trusts
Many wills include a federal applicable exclusion amount that helps to eliminate or lessen the amount of federal taxes on the estate. As estate law changes, the size of an estate can change how well it is protected against this type of taxation. A surviving spouse, children and others will be grateful for this protection, so be sure that your will and estate plan are revised to reflect the current laws regarding federal applicable exclusion.