Your plans for your estate are about more than who will make decisions and get what. They are about preserving your interests and rights in your legacy. Doing that as fully as possible means engaging legal estate planning services when the circumstances change. People in these four situations should discuss their estate planning efforts with counsel.
One of the biggest reasons to use estate planning services is to make sure the people who are most important to you will have what they need if pass suddenly. Your life circumstances can change in ways that will affect your estate plan. For example, you might marry or divorce or may have a child. Your spouse might start to experience serious medical issues. All of these changes need to show up in your estate planning documents.
New or Expiring Tax Laws
Whenever possible, your estate plan should try to maximize the taxes advantages of the beneficiaries. If a new tax law comes onto the books or an old one expires, you should discuss how that might affect the transfer of assets and money. Bear in mind that not all changes are going to be bad. It is also a good idea to touch base with an attorney at least once a year to talk about possible new tax benefits.
Keep an eye out for the law firm's newsletters, emails, and social media posts so you can get a fast heads-up when changes occur. News and business shows are also good sources for general information about when laws pass. The sooner you start planning, the more likely you'll be able to take advantage of changes in the coming tax year.
Unexpected money can create unexpected estate planning and execution issues. You might experience a windfall due to an investment paying off dramatically, a house selling for much more than expected, or winning the lottery. As funny as it is to think about one estate causing problems for another, an inheritance can trigger a windfall, too.
If you have a large sum of money or significant assets in your possession, you'll want your estate documents to account for it. Otherwise, it will be left to the judgment of the executor or even the court. Worse, beneficiaries might litigate over it.
Going years without discussing your plans for your estate is an invitation to trouble. If it has been more than a year, there's a good chance at least a few details of the estate are out of date. Ask an attorney to review what has changed in the meantime.
For more information about estate planning services, contact a local lawyer.