Estate plans evolve. Or at least they should. Any plan that fails to achieve your goals and doesn’t match your current financial and family circumstances is out of date and is in need of an overhaul.
How do you know if you have an Outdated Estate Plan?
If you signed a will or trust in 2012, or before, an immediate review should be on your to-do list. There have been many legal and policy changes since 2012, and your documents may not work as well as they could.
If you signed your will or trust after 2013 and it’s been more than two years since it has been reviewed, make sure your plan still meets your needs and avoids confusion along with needless complexity, costs, and taxes.
Quality Estate Planning is an Ongoing Process
Like financial planning, tax planning, health and fitness, and so many other things of value, proper Estate Planning requires regular maintenance.
You are not trapped by old plans, even when they’re “Irrevocable.”
If you have an outdated trust posing risks to your family’s long-term well-being, an amendment or restatement is a straightforward solution that can update and modernize your trust and make them ready for our current legal and financial landscape.
An irrevocable trust or an inheritance from a parent or grandparent is still not entirely “Irrevocable”. There are modern legal tactics for an irrevocable trust that does not meet your needs. Tools such as decanting, using a trust protector, judicial modification, or non-judicial settlement, are available to modernize an existing irrevocable trust.
Just as there are many ways to remodel a home, there are many ways to modernize old estate plans. Since each plan is unique, the way to update it will be as well. Coming up with the most effective strategy requires careful consideration of your current goals and needs, and the changes that have occurred in your life.
Start with an analysis by an attorney — most offer a free consultation – to have an informed choice rather than acting on assumptions or a layperson’s advice. These are complex legal processes, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Investing now in a thoughtfully updated Estate Plan will save you and your loved-ones great expense and hassle in the future. Leave a Legacy, Not a Burden!