Estate planning is one of those tasks that people tend to avoid. And once someone has undertaken estate planning, they may be hesitant to revisit their estate plan because people are not eager to discuss the end of life. Kiplinger’s acknowledges this hesitation in “8 Signs Your Estate Plan May Be Worthless” but still recommends reviewing your estate plan:
“We recommend, at a minimum, that all clients have a will, a financial power of attorney and an advanced medical directive that have been reviewed by an attorney within the last 10 years and subsequent to any major life event.”
Who is your trustee? If you have a friend or relative as a trustee, Kiplinger’s suggests rethinking that. People who name those close to them and those who accept aren’t always aware of the weight of this responsibility, which may include enacting directives that disappoint people they know. A third party can be more objective.
What has changed? There are so many things that can change as time goes on after you have created an estate plan. Again, it is easy to think of creating estate plan as a one-time task but it does need review. The relief your beneficiaries may feel to know that you have an estate plan can be quickly snatched away if it hasn’t been updated and they encounter hassles because of outdated information. Review your estate plan if:
- You have beneficiaries you want to add…or remove
- You didn’t outline who should get personal items like jewelry
- You review and update your life insurance policy
- You know estate tax laws have changed but aren’t sure how it affects your estate plan
- You’ve moved to a different state
A Fee-Only financial planner is one of the people you can turn to for help in reviewing your estate plan to make sure it is up-to-date and that it reflects your current wishes and current tax laws.