As we begin 2019, consider adding a review of your estate plan to your list of New Year’s resolutions. For most people, it is appropriate to review your estate plan every two to three years, or whenever a life-altering event occurs (e.g., marriage, divorce, a significant change in job or health, birth or adoption of a child).
In addition, the following are a few non-tax reasons to review your estate planning documents:
- Children Need Powers of Attorney. Any child of yours that has attained the age of 18 since you implemented your estate plan (especially those away at college) should have basic estate planning documents in place, especially financial and health care powers of attorney.
- Outdated Estate Planning Documents. Estate planning documents may have been prepared prior to a marriage or divorce or prior to the birth of your children. Individuals you have named as trustee, guardian, or power of attorney may no longer be appropriate under the present circumstances.
- Specialized Planning / Asset Protection. Each family has its own unique situation that may require specialized estate planning, such as a blended family situation, a desire to make sure the assets you leave to your beneficiaries are protected in asset protection trusts, or a beneficiary’s disability and the considerations it presents in leaving assets to that disabled beneficiary.
In connection with reviewing your estate plan, it is also important to review the beneficiaries named on your life insurance policies and retirement accounts, to ensure that they are coordinated with your existing estate plan documents. Beneficiary designations that are not consistent with your estate plan can result in distributions that are inconsistent with your desires or cause unintended tax consequences to your beneficiaries.
This year, consider reviewing your estate plan to ensure that it continues to meet your needs.
If you have any questions on this topic, please contact Attorney Evan Y. Lin or Attorney Emily E. Ames at (920) 393-1190.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and is not intended as legal advice from Lin Law LLC or the individual author. Please consult an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction for information regarding your individual situation.