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When to Review and Update Your Estate Plan

Once a will or revocable trust is prepared and put in a safe place, many clients will then forget about them. There are many reasons, however, for reviewing and updating your estate plan. Do any of the below circumstances apply to you? If so, contact my office regarding updating your estate plan.

You have moved to a different state. The estate plan that was prepared for you when you lived in your previous state may need to be updated to conform to requirements of your new state. Each state, for example, has its own legal requirements for making a will. While our U.S. Constitution requires that each state must accept wills prepared in other states, updating your will to conform to your new state may ensure a smoother probate or trust administration for your heirs.

New people should be named in your will (e.g. birth, adoption).

A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.

Your state law has changed regarding estate planning. In 2007, for example, the Florida Trust Code was substantially changed. In 2011, both Florida and Illinois changed their Power of Attorney statutes.
Change in guardians, personal representatives, or trustees.

Children reach the age of eighteen.

Divorce or marriage.

The acquisition or disposition of a significant asset.

If you have reached or are close to reaching the age of 701/2 and you have an IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan that requires you to begin to take distributions at age 701/2. The beneficiary that you designate will have an irrevocable impact on both your and your beneficiary’s required distributions.

The passage of time is reason enough. You should review your estate planning documents every three to five years.

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