Thursday, 23 June 2011

Do I need to update my estate plan?

The short answer to this question is almost always “not necessarily.”
I have reviewed Wills, Trusts and other estate planning documents that required no changes despite the fact that they are “old” by most definitions of the word. It is smart to review your estate planning documents on occasion to make sure they still represent your wishes. They should also be checked to make sure they account for any changes you may have in your life since the time when the documents were executed. An estate planning “checkup” with the attorney of your choice is not a bad idea when it has been a while since you executed your documents. While you know the changes that have taken place in your life, the estate planning attorney may alert you to changes in the law that can impact your estate planning choices as well. When you do have estate planning documents executed for the first time or when you make changes, you should receive some type of letter from your estate planning attorney that reviews the things you discussed and the decisions you made. The letter should describe the thought process behind the decisions you made. If your attorney does not provide that type of service automatically, you should request such a letter. The letter may be kept with your documents so it can serve as a guide when you review the documents.
So, do you need to update your estate plan? Not necessarily. However, it doesn’t hurt to review it.

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