Is Your Estate Plan Up to Date?

Update Estate Plan

Do you know if your estate plan is up to date, or if it’s even enforceable? Most people think once they’ve consulted with an attorney and created a will, trust, and power of attorney, they’re all set;  but that’s simply not the case.

It’s recommended that you update your estate plans at least once every few years after big life events in order to make sure your will and trust are executed the way you want. 

While estate plans should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, many people procrastinate. Haven’t updated your estate plan in a decade? It’s not too late. Estate planning is a constantly evolving endeavor. In the event of a health change, the birth of a new child, or altering of relationships, you may need to update your plan on a regular basis to ensure that all information remains relevant.

Here are 3 things to consider after you’ve created an estate plan to make sure you are keeping it up to date.

The Benefits of Managing Your Living Trust.

It’s a financial investment to set up a trust. Even more so to update and manage it across the years. While this feels like a hard pill to swallow for some, the long term benefits of having your affairs in order will be worth the front-end expenses.

At the end of the day, if you haven’t clearly and legally laid out your plans for after your death, your assets will likely end up tied up in probate court. This can cause major headaches for those left behind in the event of your death or incapacitation. 

Even after hiring an expert team of probate attorneys to represent your best interests, probate is a long and expensive process that can be avoided by creating a trust and keeping it updated.

Designating Decision Making Power to the People You Choose

It’s important that there are clearly designated agents listed in your living trust in the event of their incapacitation or death.  Having a designated guardian for your children and/or pets; having a designated agent to make healthcare decisions in the event of incapacitation, and a designated power of attorney to be able to make financial decisions in your interest when you are unable to are at the top of the list of things to consider.

Over the passage of time, your relationships with the people closest to you may change through:

  1. Divorce
  2. Marriage
  3. Birth of a Child or Grandchild
  4. Death of a Beneficiary
  5. Family Estrangement

You want to keep your trust updated to reflect these common changes so your estate is in order.

Being Prepared after Changes in Location or Laws.

If you have moved to Georgia after creating a living trust in another state, you will want to update it and make accommodations for differing state laws.  There may be a change in federal tax laws that create the need for amendments.

Whether these changes take effect or your financial situation changes, we can help. There are specific steps you can take to change your trust, and make sure your plans are enforceable.

Reach out and contact us today to learn more about keeping your family out of probate with an updated estate plan.

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