Attorneys at estate planning law firms usually advise clients to review their estate plans every three to five years, as well as after major life events. A review of your estate plan should include your will and other associated directives, such as your revocable living trust, durable financial power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and living will. Upon review, you may discover that significant changes are needed to your plan, and you need the guidance of an attorney at an estate planning law firm to ensure it is appropriately revised and updated.
If you have an estate plan, it is always a good idea to have an experienced estate planning attorney review your current plan. The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, LLC, is an estate planning law firm that has decades of experience advising clients on their estate and financial planning requirements. Our attorneys can thoroughly review your plan and make appropriate tailored recommendations. If you know you need to revise your plan or are unsure whether a revision is needed, call Hoyt & Bryan, LLC, today and schedule a Discovery and Decision Dialogue. Hoyt & Bryan, LLC, can craft a plan that perfectly fits your needs and protects your loved ones.
Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan
There are many reasons to update your estate plan, but the following reasons are some of the most common:
1. A New Marriage and/or a New Blended Family
If you are newly married, you will want to include your new spouse in your estate plan. You will also want to make sure that you have removed your old spouse or partner from your plan. A new marriage may also mean caring for new family members, such as stepchildren or pets. You may also want to make provisions for your new extended family members. It is important that your children from your previous relationships are adequately protected as well. All of these changes to your plan may result in an overall revision of the distribution of your assets.
2. A Divorce
Divorce brings up a multitude of changes in your life. If you are getting divorced or anticipate a divorce, you will need to revisit the terms of your estate plan. You do not want to leave any ambiguity in your will or trust regarding who is meant to benefit financially from your estate plan. This revision should be done as soon as possible. You should also review asset ownership and beneficiary designations for all assets.
3. The Birth or Adoption of a Child
The arrival of a baby, an adopted child, or a new grandchild is an exciting time. While this is a happy time for most people, it can also be challenging. Upon the arrival of your new family member, you should immediately amend your plan to include your child. You will want to name a guardian for your child to provide for their care in the event of an untimely death. Additionally, you may wish to have language in a will or trust that provides for grandchildren born after you are deceased.
The death of a loved one can be an extremely stressful life event. It is the catalyst for numerous concerns. If a person who is named in your will, a living trust, or some other estate planning instrument, predeceases you, then you have some decisions to make. You should update your will or trust by removing that person from your plan. Revision of your estate plan is needed to ensure all beneficiaries are properly included.
5. Received Inheritance
Perhaps, you have recently received an inheritance. You now have new assets that need to be accounted for in your estate plan. Decisions need to be made regarding the distribution of these new assets within your estate plan. A qualified estate planning attorney can guide you through this process to ensure the best possible outcome.
Life does not always go as planned. Relationships do not always stay the same either. In some instances, it becomes necessary or advisable to remove a potential heir from your living trust or last will. If you decide to disinherit a person from your estate plan, you should contact an estate planning attorney to ensure it is done correctly.
7. Purchased or Sold Assets
When you buy or sell assets of substantial value, you will need to make provisions for these assets within your estate plan. If you sell assets that impact your plan, you will need to revise your plan to reflect this change. Failure to account for the newly acquired asset may result in some assets not being part of your living trust and may require future probate.
8. Acquired or Sold a Business
Buying or selling a business in Florida is a significant event that should be accounted for within your estate plan. It is best to contact an attorney to deal with the financial consequences of owning or selling a business. Either event will significantly impact your estate plan. You may want to consider a buy-sell agreement with business partners that is well-documented and funded with life insurance.
9. A Significant Change in Your Health
Any time you have a significant change in your health, you will need to revisit your estate plan. A change in your health could mean you will have a change in your future medical care needs. Financial resources must be readily available to take care of your medical needs and long-term care needs. An experienced attorney can make the best determination as to what type of estate planning instrument would suit your future medical and financial needs.
10. Change of Trustee, Executor/Personal Representative, or Power of Attorney
Due to certain circumstances, you may need to change your trustee, personal representative, or your power of attorney. Naming the proper person for each role is an important decision, and time should be taken when thinking about who is the best fit. Once decided upon, your estate plan must be amended to reflect these changes.
11. New Tax Laws that May Impact Your Estate Plan
Federal and State tax laws can change at any time and adversely affect your estate plan. Such changes may expose your plan to onerous tax liability or other financial pitfalls. It is crucial that you speak to an attorney at an estate planning law firm to ensure your estate is not exposed to taxes that may be avoided.
12. Standard Review of Your Estate Plan
Regardless of whether or not you have any significant changes in your life, you should periodically review your estate plan. Doing so every three to five years is recommended. Perhaps you are reconsidering how you want certain items to be handled and need those items to be changed. Or, maybe your attorney has updates to laws that could affect your estate plan. Simply put, it is beneficial to be proactive and check in on your estate plan every few years so that you can keep it as up-to-date and as close to meeting your objectives as possible.
Speak to An Estate Planning Law Firm in Oviedo, Florida
A vast number of changes can occur in your life that make revising your estate plan a necessity. Discussing these changes with an experienced attorney at the Florida estate planning law firm Hoyt & Bryan, LLC is vital to ensuring your documents meet your needs. Located in Oviedo, Florida, The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, are ready and able to review and recommend the best estate plan for you and your specific needs. Call Hoyt & Bryan, LLC today.