Estate planning is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Your life changes, your assets change, the laws change -- and if your plan doesn’t change, your family gets caught holding the bag. The people you love most end up bearing the brunt of your failure to act.
Conducting a proper review of your estate plan will help identify the potential need to update your plan because of:
Have any babies been born, loved ones died, people gotten divorced or married? If so, you need to revisit your plan.
Changes in the law
Changes in federal and state tax laws may require updates to your advance health care directive and financial power of attorney. State regulations can also be revised to open up new wealth planning strategies that should be a part of your estate plan.
Changes in assets
Has your net worth gone up or down? Have you invested in any new assets, such as businesses, opened new bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, real estate or anything similar? If so, your plan needs to be revisited. And the spreadsheet of assets you have for your family (you DO have one, right?) needs updating.
Funding of assets and beneficiary designations
One of the most common mistakes people make is not properly completing the transfer of assets into a trust within their estate plan. Another common error is having beneficiary designations that are inconsistent with the distribution language in the estate plan. I recommend a review of those matters at least annually.
If you do not review your plan and update it regularly, your family will have to deal with the consequences.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
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