You’ve already got an estate plan in place? Great! When was the last time you looked at it? If you’re like most people, it was when your attorney handed it to you.
It’s typical to feel a huge sense of relief after getting your first estate plan done. And you should! But at the risk of raining on your parade, you’re never really done estate planning (until you’re really done, so to speak).
Your estate plan is a snapshot. Your life, on the other hand, is a movie, with a constantly changing cast of characters and story lines. And as with every other major investment you make, regular maintenance tends to be cheaper over the long run than forgetting about it until major repair work is needed.
Ask yourself, in the last 5 years…
- Has your family changed? Do you have new kids or grandkids?
- Are your kids approaching, or have they entered, adulthood?
- Have you or any of your heirs gotten married or divorced?
- Have you or any of your heirs developed credit problems?
- Have your friendships changed? Are you still in a close, trusting relationship with the people you chose to serve as your personal representative, trustee, or agent?
- Have you or any family members developed new health concerns, or resolved health problems you used to have?
- Have you significantly increased your income or savings?
- Do you have the same financial adviser, accountant, and insurance agent?
- Have you started a business or made some other significant change to where your income comes from?
For the vast majority of people, the answer to at least a few of these questions is, “Yes.” And here is one thing I know is true for everybody: the laws have changed. If you haven’t updated your plan since the end of 2012, the tax laws differ significantly from when you last thought this through. Estate taxes are no longer a concern for most people. Now it’s income taxes that most people have to worry about.
To determine whether you are due for an estate plan update, complete this 2 minute questionnaire:
“Always Prepared” Program
To help our clients keep their plans up to date, we offer an ongoing maintenance program that covers annual reviews, minor updates, and several other valuable items. Members also can have major updates done at a discount. To learn more about our “Always Prepared” program, please give us a call.
Another great way to stay up to date on common estate planning issues and topics is attend one of our free estate planning seminars. We offer them regularly around the Denver area.