Whether you lead a dynamic life full of adventure or prefer to simply enjoy the respite that all your hard work has earned, the circumstances for you and your loved ones are always changing. Would you give your 18-year-old grandchild a set of pajamas you’d set aside for them at their birth? No–they’re different; you’re different; the world is different. That’s why it’s important to give your estate plan a periodic look-over to make sure that it is still tailored to who you are and who they are.
Here are five examples of changes that should prompt a review of your estate plan:
- Family changes. Marriage, divorce, birth and death are four family changes that should prompt an estate plan review. The death of a beneficiary may impact the remainder of your plan. In the event that your son or daughter divorces, you will undoubtedly want to remove their ex-spouse from your plan, while taking care to see that your grandchildren receive what they deserve. Remember: an estate plan is not all about money. You’ve designated individuals as guardians, executors, or health care agents–make sure that each still can fulfill your intentions.
- Health changes. How your estate plan prepares for your long-term care as you age will need to change with the state of your own health. Should you suddenly require long-term care, it can be vital to specify just what sort of care you want–would you prefer to receive in-home assistance and stay where you are, or would you prefer to pay to live in a senior living community? A change in the health of a loved one may also prompt a revision to your plan.
- Work changes. You may find it necessary to withdraw money from your IRA funds to support yourself once you decide–or need–to stop working. Are you a small business owner? There are a number of avenues open for you: you might sell your business outright, transfer it to the next generation and retain a royalty, or something else. Whatever you choose, it is likely to require a significant change of your estate plan. Read more about Business Succession Planning here.
- Market changes. Anyone who has lived through the past decade knows just how capricious the market can be. If the fluctuation in the total value of your estate is over 20%–for better or for worse–a review of your estate plan is a very good idea. Particularly if your coffers have begun to overflow, you will want to be certain that you have reduced or eliminated the threat of estate taxes. Remember that Minnesota has an estate tax exemption of only $1 million, and there’s no portability, so it doesn’t take much to want to engage in some tax planning.
- Law changes. The minutiae of tax law can change radically with each new Congress. Yearly review will ensure that your plan is positioned to take advantage of an alteration in your favor, or to blunt the impact of any new imposition.
To review an existing estate plan or create one for yourself and your family, call our office today at 612-206-3701 or reach out via our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about this in a family estate planning consultation, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family to ensure your legacy of love and financial security.
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