With 2017 just beginning, you probably have New Year’s resolutions on your mind. Maybe you are focused on self-improvement or perhaps you have a fun bucket list of items waiting to be crossed off. While you may want to kick off your new year with a bang, there are a few matters you should take care of first. You want to ensure that you also start out your year with peace of mind. This may mean dusting off your old estate plan and giving your Last Will and Testament a thorough read.
If you do not already have an estate plan (Last Will and Testament, Revocable Trust, Living Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care surrogate), creating one is also a great New Year’s resolution. Both young and old alike benefit from having a carefully constructed estate plan to meet their family’s individual needs.
When should you update your will?
If you reflect on the past year, you see everything that has changed. You got divorced, remarried, had a child, got a raise, bought a home, or had a new grandchild. Whatever it may be, a lot has changed. If you experienced any of these significant life events, it is time to update your estate planning documents. You should have your estate plan reviewed by an attorney or other estate planning professional periodically to assure that it still meets your needed. With the year just beginning, it is the perfect time to account for any of these changes that occurred over 2016.
Your estate plan should be reviewed if any of the following occur:
(1) the marriage, divorce, illness or incapacity of you or of any member of your immediate family;
(2) the death of any member of your immediate family;
(3) a significant change in your financial condition (positive or negative);
(4) you move to another state or country;
(5) you receive a large gift or inheritance;
(6) you acquire property which requires special consideration and handling;
(7) you change your mind about how to dispose of your property and/or who you want as your representatives; and
(8) if there is a significant change in the tax laws which may affect your estate.
If you or your family have experienced any of the foregoing life events, schedule a time to meet with the attorneys at Brandon Legal Group to discuss your estate planning needs.