Why Should I Review My Estate Plan
I am sure when you completed your estate plan you felt relief and confidence that all was in place for your loved ones. However, time marches on. Just as your life changes, your trust needs to change to fit your new circumstances. The little ones who were on your lap when you first set up your trust, may have little ones of their own now. The assets you own likely have multiplied or increased in value. The people you listed as executors or trustees may no longer be able to aid you and family dynamics may have changed. It is important to note that most older trust documents fail to include incapacity planning or government benefit provisions for trustees, such as Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.Estate planning laws regularly change requiring plans to be updated.Regular reviews of your plan are essential to make sure everything happens as you expect and hope they will when the time comes.
Failing to keep your trust current and funded properly can have regrettable outcomes. Consider Marianne’s own story:
“Shortly after I became a new attorney, my grandmother died. While she paid an attorney to draft a will and a revocable living trust for her, the attorney simply provided her with the documents and never followed up. My grandmother apparently did not understand the need to transfer her assets into the trust and never did so. Consequently, at her death, her entire estate needed to be probated even though she had paid for documents that could have avoided this process. My father and I spent many hours (and late nights) ascertaining the assets she owned (it was not organized), and taking those assets through probate. Additionally, even though my grandmother lived frugally, her assets (especially her home) had appreciated significantly. Because she didn’t have an ongoing relationship with her attorney, the attorney never addressed tax issues that arose with her appreciated assets, resulting in a large tax at her death.”
Marianne’s thrifty and caring grandma would have been appalled to learn that the legacy she intended for her beloved family was reduced significantly by avoidable fees and taxes. She would also have been sad to learn that her family spent hundreds of hours on issues that could have been easily taken care of when she was alive.
Schedule a Review Today
You have already taken important steps in providing for those you care for. You have a plan and legal documents in place. Let us at Sundance Law review with you whether or not these documents still meet your needs and ensure that you have the plan in place today that will give you peace of mind and security for your loved ones.