Estate planning is hardly on anyone’s list of “fun things to do.” To some it is seen as a necessary evil, while others just want to ignore the idea that someday they will not be able to make decisions regarding the distribution of their wealth. At Financial Fiduciaries, we are privileged to help our clients create estate plans that will give them a voice long after they are unable to do so for themselves.
Once your estate plan is complete, you might think that it can just sit on auto pilot until the time comes for it to be executed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Regular review of your estate plan is crucial to ensure that your objectives match with your current situation. We have been witness to several clients who, after a careful review of their plan, discovered that it did not match up to what they initially intended. Had these flaws not been discovered, the results could have been disastrous.
With that in mind here are some life events and circumstances that require a review of your current estate plan. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list…but definitely some good reasons to consider your current plans.
- A recent marriage – this could be yours or a child’s
- A recent separation or divorce – again, this could be yours or your child’s
- A long-lasting relationship – any conjugal relationship lasting over a year might be cause to review your plan
- Welcoming a child or grandchild
- A change in your financial status (yours, your spouse or your child) – this could be the acquisition of a new asset, a change in your business or occupation or even the threat of financial difficulties down the road
- Moving out of the country
- Poor health – this might relate to your health, your spouse’s or a child’s health
- Death of a spouse or child
- Your adult child becomes financially dependent upon you
- You lose contact or there is a change in the relationship between you and your child or the executor of your estate.
It is paramount to point out that even if you do not encounter any of the above mentioned life changes, it still is important to review your estate plan on regular basis. While your current plan might be solid, there might be changes in tax laws that could either help or hinder you when considering your most recent estate plans.
While reviewing your plan on your own is always a good idea, it is also vital to have an expert take a look at it. We recommend discussing your plans with a qualified fee-only financial planner and a trusted attorney specializing in estate plans.