A new year provides us with a new chapter and a new year to look forward to. It also marks the time when laws and tax changes go into effect.
With so much newness surrounding us, now can be an excellent time to take a fresh look at your estate plan. Doing so can help you in a few critical ways.
Reflecting life changes
A lot changes over time. It is not unusual for people to want to change elements of their plan in light of the following:
- Marriage or divorce
- Having kids or grandkids
- Having a serious illness
- Familial estrangement
- Significant increases or decreases in finances and property
These developments can change how you feel about your legacy. For instance, you might have more charitable goals or want to ensure someone gets specific property or funds. You might think differently about your inheritances or final wishes.
An outdated estate plan can make tracking down people or assets unnecessarily complicated. It can create delays and prevent parties from properly carrying out your wishes. Thus, it can be wise to review a plan to update elements like:
- Personal contact information
- Banking details
- Login and password credentials
- Place of residence
- Names of beneficiaries
When you make these administrative updates to your plan, you make it easy for others to find what they need to find during an otherwise challenging time.
Taking advantage of new opportunities
As we get older or fall ill, we can become eligible for certain programs. Investment strategies and business valuations change. And over the years, tax laws and other legal measures expire or go into effect.
All these changes can affect estate planning strategies and options, so updating your plan regularly can be advantageous.
Even if you are unaware of these changes, your lawyer or another party you work with to create your plan may have the knowledge to help you make informed adjustments. Failing to review your plan periodically could mean you are leaving money on the table.
With all this in mind, now can be the perfect time to review your estate plan to ensure it aligns with your current wishes and circumstances.