Reasons to Update Your Estate Planning

The reason for doing finishing planning your estate is to sleep at night!


Reasons to do an Estate Review

1. Your Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Will, Trusts are older than 5 years or you have not been informed about Powers of Attorney (for both Health Care and Finances), Trusts (Living and others), Living Wills, etc.

There have been many changes to the rules of estates and wills over the past several years. Many attorneys were slow to pick up on these changes.

2. Your Wills and other Documents are from out of state OR You have property in more than one state

Out of State Documents: Though each state seeks to honor wills and other documents from other states, the difference in laws usually mean that your intentions are not carried out exactly how you wish.

Property in more than one State: An absolute must in getting an estate update unless you have already taken steps to prevent this particular trouble from affecting your estate.

3. You don’t want to pass on a lump sum to your children OR you have a special needs Child or Grandchild

Some children are good with money, some are not. It is always wise to extend payments for those children who are better at spending money than saving it but it still may be wise to extend payments for children who are good with money.

Some children or grandchildren need help for a variety of reasons all of their lives.

4. You want to disinherit your Son-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law

With divorce so common, do you want your estate to go to your children and grandchildren or your son-in-law and his new spouse?

5. You have probate issues, you want to keep your affairs private, or you want to do some charitable giving

There are several ways to avoid costly probates, keep your affairs private and allow for giving to your favorite charity while providing benefits to you and your family.

6. You have had major changes in your life or your beneficiaries lives since your last documents were completed (i.e. marriages, children, divorces, children grew up, new grandchildren, special needs children or grandchildren, accumulated over $200,000 more in wealth, deaths in the family, etc.)? You do not have self-proving documents

These changes will always affect your estate and sometimes dramatically.

Self Proving Documents: Both witnessed and notarized. This prevents having to find witnesses to your signature at the time of probate.

7. You have concerns about long term care (i.e. possibly even nursing home care)

Is “impoverishing” yourself to give a little more to your children a good idea? Almost always, it is a bad idea.

8. Are there any persons not named in the will that you wish to provide for or are there persons that you wish to take out of the will?

9. Are there any persons you wish to disinherit?

10. Are there any legacies (bequests of gifts) which are now modified, altered, revoked, or preferred?

11. Has any property given to a specific person in the will been sold, lost, or destroyed since the will was executed?

12. Has any property that is mentioned in the will been mortgaged or sold on contract?

13. Has the testator obtained any life insurance loans since the will was executed?

14. Has the testator made any substantial gifts or loans to any legatee (person to inherit under the will) since the will was executed?

15. Has a legatee reached the age of majority since the will was executed?

16. Has any fiduciary (Executor, Trustee, Guardian) died or left the state?

17. Are the fiduciaries named in the will still capable and willing to carry out their responsibilities?

18. Do you have backup or substitute fiduciaries?

19. Has testator given or taken a long-term lease on land?

20. You intend to inherit a substantial sum of money or property in the future?

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