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How to Tell if Your Estate Plan is Outdated

Posted on: November 10th, 2014
estate plan revisionsWhile annual reviews are recommended, an estate plan should definitely be updated upon relocation to another state, significant asset acquirement or loss, family changes, or health-related concerns. Our estate planning lawyers provide a list of 10 items for consideration below. If any of these items apply to you, your estate plan is past due for review:
  1. Your Will has not been reviewed in 3 years or longer.
  2. You cannot confidently name the beneficiaries, and secondary beneficiaries, on your retirement accounts and life insurance.
  3. If you have minor children: Are guardian appointments complete and current? If you are divorced or re-married, does your estate plan preserve assets for children or will they pass to a former or current spouse?
  4. The person you named executor has relocated or passed away.
  5. You set up a trust, but have not yet fully funded it.
  6. You addressed how to pass on assets to family upon your death, but failed to provide for management of your assets in the event of your incapacitation.
  7. You own properties in multiple states and have not established a living trust to hold these assets. (Surviving family members may need to probate properties in each respective state if your plan is not prepared properly.)
  8. Your digital assets are not addressed in your estate plan.
  9. You have a living trust that will continue in existence for many years after your death for the benefit of family members, but have not added trust protector provisions for flexibility and protection.
  10. You have a Will, but no other documents. Creating a Will is not the end of estate planning. 

Annual meetings with a lawyer help prevent problems like the ones noted above. If it is not yet regular practice, schedule routine reviews to keep your estate plan up-to-date. Your loved ones will thank you for it!
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