Beginning the Year Off Right
The new year is just around the corner, and while many people are planning their resolutions to keep throughout the upcoming year, some are making a different type of plan: updates to their estate plan. The last year may have had many changes come about in your life, so it’s important to make sure that your estate plan is up to date with these changes.
Here are factors that may have changed over the last year that should cause you to consider updating your estate plan as the year begins.
Perhaps you got married over the last year or maybe your marriage ended via a divorce. Whatever the case, if your relationship status changed over the last year, then it’s necessary to make changes to your estate plan. Specifically, you will want to change the beneficiaries of your assets or even who you have listed as your power of attorney.
Births or Deaths
You or someone who is listed in your estate plan may have passed away, or you may have to add a new beneficiary because a new family member was born. For situations like these, it’s important to keep your estate plan up to date.
People buy things all the time over the course of a year, and if you made a major purchase, it might not be listed in your estate plan yet. You should revise your plan to ensure that the asset is passed down to who you want it to go to.
Tax Law Changes
The state and federal governments may make changes to specific portions of the tax code that may directly affect your estate plan. Research if this has happened; if so, it would be wise to update your estate plan to be reflective of these tax law changes.
A Change in a Relationship with Entities
You may have included an organization such as your alma mater or a non-profit as one of your beneficiaries for certain assets. If you no longer wish to be affiliated with that outside organization or if you would prefer to add a new one as a beneficiary, changes to your estate plan will be necessary.
How Do I Change My Estate Plan?
Regardless of the reason for the change, it’s important to get any updates to your estate plan made as soon as possible when the new year hits. If you don’t know how to update your estate plan or if you don’t have an estate plan in place, consult with an attorney who can help you take care of this important matter.