The best thing about the New Year is the fresh start that it brings and the inspiration it provides for making improvements in all areas of life. One of the most important improvements you can make is to develop or improve your estate plan. Estate planning goals change over time, and personal and financial reasons can cause the plans to differ from year to year.
Where to Get Started With Your Estate Plan
In order to ensure that your estate plan continues to meet your personal goals, there may updates that need to be made. For example, in the last few years and more recently, there have been new tax-savings opportunities available for you to take advantage of. Keeping your estate plan ahead of the game by staying abreast of new changes can pay off in the long run.
Should I develop an estate plan?
Wondering if an estate plan is right for you? Without taking steps to ensure that your property and assets stay free from probate, in the event that you pass away, everything that you own could end up in court-supervised guardianship. This means that all your assets will be divided according to the basics of the law, not necessarily as you would choose to distribute your property. Even if you are not in possession of a significant amount of property, you want to make sure that your home, retirement account, and specifically family circumstances are accounted for.
Why do I need up update my existing estate plan?
If you have already developed an estate plan, it may not seem necessary to update over the years. However, planning for your family after your death is not a static document that can be ignored once it has been signed. Life changes, and your estate plan must change with it.
Some of the things that may need updating include:
- Increased federal estate tax exemption
- Changes in state estate taxes
- Gift taxes
- Generation-skipping transfer taxes
- Power of attorney
- Health care directives
- General life changes, such as marriages or births
Having an updated estate plan has financial and personal implications. Constantly working on this document can help ensure that your property is taken care of in the event of death.
Looking to get moving on your estate plan resolution? For a no obligation consultation, contact Herrig & Vogt, Attorneys at Law.