Spring Clean Your Estate Plan | 2013

Spring Clean Your Estate Plan

Spring is the time of year for a fresh start and getting organized, which makes for a great time to dust off and pull out your estate planning documents.

Similar to maintaining your car, your estate plan needs maintenance every few years for maximum performance. As life events happen and laws change it is important to have your documents reviewed by Bratton Scott’s qualified estate planning attorney every 3 to 5 years, or sooner if you experience a significant life event.

Three changes every estate plan faces:

  1. Changes in the law.
  2. Changes in your personal situation.
  3. Changes in estate planning practices.

Changes in the Law

New legislation and new court cases change the law frequently.  If your current estate plan doesn’t reflect current law, it may fail. A perfect example would be changes in the federal estate, gift, and generation skipping tax laws; HIPAA requirements; and power of attorney laws.

Changes in Your Personal Situation

You, like everyone else, will experience changes in your family, finances, asset ownership, health, goals, and personal views throughout your lifetime. Examples of changes in your personal situation would include marriage, divorce, new children, new business, finances, financial goals, family goals, and domicile.

Changes in Estate Planning Practices

Estate planning techniques constantly evolve to meet client needs, new thinking, and changes in the law and economic environment. Examples would be the development of the trust protector, domestic asset protection trusts, and language to protect addicted beneficiaries or make charitable donations directly from a retirement plan.

If your estate plan is 3-5 years old or you have had changes to your personal situation, contact Bratton Scott today to spring clean your estate plan! 856-857-6000