Spring is a great time to clean out and take stock – including a review of your estate plan. When and how often you need to update your estate plan varies from person to person, family to family, but a number of factors are influential.
Changes to the federal and New York state estate tax laws may impact your estate plan. In particular, the increases in the estate tax exemption amount may call for revisions to your estate plan. The exemption amount is the amount of assets which may pass to your beneficiaries tax free upon your death. Your Will and trusts may need to be revised to accommodate the recent increases in this exemption amount. Changes in federal and state tax rates may also impact your planning strategies.
Changes in your family composition may call for you to update your Will and estate plan. The birth of children or grandchildren, the death of a loved one, marriages and divorces of yourself or any of your beneficiaries, and health care changes for you or your loved ones may require an update of your estate planning documents. You should also review all assets with beneficiary designations to be sure they are updated to reflect any births, deaths or divorces.
Substantial changes in your assets can impact your estate plan. An increase or decrease in assets, other than market fluctuations, may give rise to estate planning revisions. For example, specific bequests may need to be altered to accommodate any such increases or decreases. A change in your holdings may similarly call for a second look at your current documents.
Estate Plan Review
At a minimum, we recommend that our clients review their estate plans every two years or sooner if any of the above applies. We offer update meetings to our existing clients free of charge. Our attorneys are always available to review your needs to be sure you are taking appropriate steps to protect your wealth and your family.