Is Your Estate Plan Still Your Plan?
The recent Covid-19 shutdown is a startling reminder that we can never be too prepared for life’s changing circumstances. That’s true not only with respect to our finances, career paths, and life-sustaining supplies but also in terms of what happens to our assets when we die.
Although it’s true that a proper estate plan can ensure your property will be managed and distributed according to your desires, it’s equally as true that an outdated plan can have unintended and potentially devastating ramifications.
As a general rule of thumb, you should review your estate plan every 3 to 5 years to account for life’s many changes. Examples of such changes include the following:
Family Dynamics. Changes in your family dynamic–including marriages, divorces, deaths, births, and special needs children–are the most common events requiring modifications to your estate plan. Remember that these life-changing events happen not only to you and your children but also to your grandchildren and other intended beneficiaries.
Guardians and Trustees. A proper estate plan designates individuals to act as guardians for minor children and as successor trustees to manage, invest, and distribute your assets once you pass away. Wisdom dictates that you periodically reflect on whether your designated guardians and successor trustees are still capable of serving in these important capacities.
Distribution Schemes. A good estate plan includes a distribution scheme that specifies precisely when and how your assets will be distributed to your intended beneficiaries. Unaccounted-for changes in your financial situation or beneficiary designations can unravel even the most carefully crafted plans.
If you haven’t recently reviewed your estate plan to account for life’s changes and to determine if it still reflects your wishes, I urge you to do so now. Then seek assistance from an experienced attorney if you believe modifications may be necessary or desirable. With offices in Boulder City and Henderson, Mr. Woodbury can be reached at (702) 933-0777 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.