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A will and estate plan is an important document that outlines your wishes for your assets and loved ones. It is crucial to have this document reviewed and updated regularly to make sure that it truly reflects your current circumstances and preferences.
Benefits of Reviewing Your Wills and Estates
Accurately Reflect Your Wishes
By having your will and estate plan reviewed regularly, you can ensure that the document accurately reflects your current circumstances and wishes. This can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes among your loved ones after passing.
Estate tax laws are constantly changing, and a regularly reviewed will and estate plan can help you stay current with these changes and minimize the amount of taxes owed on your estate.
Reasons for Reviewing Your Wills and Estates
- Life Changes
Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change quickly. Events like marriages, divorces, births, deaths and other life changes can significantly affect your estate strategy and will. It is important to have your will and estate plan reviewed and updated to reflect these changes and ensure that the distribution of your assets follows your instructions.
- Estate Tax Laws
Estate tax laws are constantly changing, and what may have been an efficient plan ten years ago may no longer need. Contact a forensic document examiner if you believe the will or estate of a loved one that has passed has been altered.
- Beneficiary Changes
Over time, your beneficiaries may change. Children may be born or pass away, or you may wish to include new beneficiaries or exclude others. Regular reviews of your will and estate plan allow you to make these changes and ensure that the distribution of your assets follows your instructions.
- Update Beneficiary Designations
Beneficiary designations for retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets are separate from your will and estate plan. Your beneficiary designations should be current and in line with your desires if you regularly examine your will and estate plan.
- Protect Your Loved Ones
Your will and estate plan can help protect your loved ones by outlining your wishes for their care and well-being. A regularly reviewed and updated plan can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of according to your wishes and avoid potential conflicts among family members.
- Avoid Probate
Your loved ones may go through a lengthy and expensive process called probation. By ensuring that your assets are transferred effectively per your preferences, regular assessments of your will and estate plan can assist you in avoiding probate.
- Peace of Mind
Knowing that your will and estate plan are up to date and accurately reflect your wishes can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Maintaining a current will and estate plan can help ensure that your final wishes are carried out as planned and that your loved ones are cared for after your departure.
Consider These When Reviewing Your Wills and Estates
If you have established a trust, it is essential to review the documents regularly to ensure that the terms and provisions align with your wishes.
Power of Attorney
Consider updating your power of attorney documents to ensure that you have a trusted individual to manage your affairs in the event of incapacity.
Health Care Directive:
Review your health care directive to ensure that it accurately reflects your wishes for medical treatment if you cannot decide for yourself.
Be sure to include any digital content you may have in your will and estate plan, such as any online social media accounts, financial portfolios, or bank accounts.
If you own a business, it is essential to consider how your business interests will be handled in the event of your passing and ensure that your will and estate plan addresses these concerns.
A will and estate plan is an important document that outlines your wishes for your assets and loved ones after your passing. Regular reviews of this document help ensure that it accurately reflects your current circumstances and desires, minimizes the amount of taxes owed on your estate, protects your loved ones, and provides peace of mind for you and your family. It is crucial to deal with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer who can walk you through the process and aid in your decision-making.