One of the truths of life is that things change. When it comes to your estate plan, the choices you made when your first created your estate plan may no longer be what you want. It may have also been a long time since you last looked at your documents, and you are not sure if it is still a good plan. At Acorn Law, our trust attorneys can help you by reviewing your existing trust and other estate planning documents and then guiding you through making any necessary changes.
Your family may have changed since you first created your estate plan. Maybe you did it when your children were young, and now they’re grown up with families of their own. Maybe one of your children has recently gotten married, or you’ve welcomed new children or grandchildren into the family. You may have gotten married, or divorced, or are recently widowed. The fact is, our families change as time goes on, and your estate and trust planning should reflect these changes.
Your assets may have changed since you created your plan. For example, maybe you have retired and have recently started receiving a pension, or rolled a 401(k) over into an IRA. You may have life insurance that is no longer in place. You may have real estate that has increased in value, or has been sold. Depending on the changes to your financial picture, it may require an update to your estate plan.
Your own plans may have changed. You may no longer wish to have the same person for your trustee that you originally chose. Maybe you want to adjust how you estate is distributed among your loved ones based on changes in their lives. Maybe you have grandchildren now and wish to provide funds for college. Maybe the person who you were worried about managing money is more mature now, and you no longer have that concern. We can help guide you in updating your plan to reflect your current wishes.
The laws inevitably change, and sometimes a change in the law requires an update to your estate plan. For example, one of the biggest changes over the years has been to the federal estate tax exemption. This is the amount of money you are allowed to leave tax-free to your loved ones. In 2001, this amount was only $675,000 per person. Today, it is $11.18 million! This means that a lot of trusts that we created years ago have unnecessary tax planning included in them that not only add unneeded complexity, but can actually end up costing you more in taxes.
How Often Should I Update My Trust?
We recommend our clients review their estate plan at least once every 3 years, or whenever a major change occurs in their life. That’s why we include with all of our estate plans an attorney review and consultation every 3 years, to make sure your plan is up to date and will still do what you want it to.
Why Trusts Fail
Trusts fail to avoid probate and otherwise work as they were supposed to because they are not kept up to date. This is the number one reason that they do not work as intended. If you are worried that your trust may no longer work they way you want it to, schedule a consultation today to review your plan and make sure it will do what it is supposed to.