As 2023 nears its end, every adult should take the time to review their estate plans to ensure their legal and practical relevance. The people named in various documents may or may not be the right people to inherit property or make decisions in the event of incapacity or death. Additionally, document legality might have changed since their creation.
To address these concerns, ponder the following five questions and take any necessary actions:
1). Has the estate plan been prepared or professionally reviewed within the last 5-7 years?
While estate planning attorneys design wills, trusts, and related documents to withstand various life changes, a comprehensive review of each estate plan every five to seven years holds merit for several reasons. First, clients often struggle to recall intricate plan details after even a couple of years, let alone five. A periodic refresher can realign intentions with the actual plan. Second, the composition of asset portfolios can evolve, potentially necessitating a reevaluation of distribution strategies. Third, shifting relationships due to death, divorce, and evolving social circles can influence the relevance of an individual's estate plan. Lastly, changes in laws and practices can impact the plan's efficacy.
For individuals lacking an estate plan, state-enacted laws will de ...