Every year, changes occur in your life. Some are small and some are big, but many can impact your estate planning decisions. Performing a yearly review of your estate plan ensures that it remains valid and reflects your current wishes. Here are a few reasons to review your estate plan yearly.
1 – Move Out Of State
State laws can vary. When moving from one state to another, it is essential that you update your estate plan. Contact an estate planning attorney in your new state for assistance. Certain terms within your existing plan may no longer be valid, and likewise, new options may be available to you as well. Also, tax thresholds are different for each state. A higher or lower estate tax level may influence how you structure your estate plan. A local attorney can explain state-specific laws and give you the necessary information to make important decisions.
2 – Employment Status
If you have switched careers or have retired, be sure to review your estate plan. Financial planning and estate planning go hand-in-hand, so any drastic shift in your finances must be considered. For instance, if you are with a new employer, do they offer 401(k) or other retirement benefits? If you recently retired, were any of your assets moved from one account to another? Asset allocation may need to be adjusted in your estate plan in these cases.
3 – Marital Status
Marital status changes are one of the most important reasons to review your estate plan. Whether you have gotten married or divorced, your estate plan will need an overhaul to either add or remove a spouse. Additionally, stepchildren may need special consideration in your plans as well. Forgetting to alter your estate plan when your marital status changes can lead to devastating results for your heirs.
4 – Law Changes
Every year, state and federal laws are subject to change. From tax thresholds to court rulings that interpret existing inheritance laws, any number of factors can influence your estate planning decisions. Thus, this is one of the most important reasons to review your estate plan yearly.
5 – Family Dynamics
Every family goes through drama at some point. As you become closer to certain individuals and/or have a falling out with others, your estate plan may need adjustment to reflect that. Estate disputes often result when family members argue over whether estate plans reflect a decedent’s true feelings at the time of death. Updating your estate plan yearly can minimize such issues.
Help With Reviewing Your Estate Plan
If you would like help with creating a new estate plan or reviewing an existing one, contact the team at Martino Law Group. As Massachusetts estate planning attorneys, we understand local and federal estate laws and can provide you with the guidance that you need. Every individual and family is different, so let us help you create a plan that meets your unique needs.