5 Overlooked Changes That Warrant Reassessment Of Your Estate Plan

Now that you've made an estate plan, should you sit back and forget it? Getting past the first hurdle and actually creating a plan is something you should be congratulated on. But keeping that estate plan relevant means revisiting it when things change. And while some changes — like a beneficiary passing away — are obvious, others are much harder to spot. Here are five changes to keep an eye out for and why.

1. Changes in Tax or State Law

Few Americans keep abreast of the many tax laws and other laws that change each year. But even minor changes, such as the capital gains tax rates or state rules regarding inheritance by spouses, can have big impacts on your estate in the future. Your best source of updates is an attorney or accountant. 

2. Changes in Your Interests

Your estate plan should be a reflection of your personal values, relationships, and interests. But it's a reflection of what you want and how you feel at a particular moment in time. Those feelings change. You might no longer want to give a large donation to a cause you once felt deeply about. You may have fallen out with a relative — or gained a new friendship. Make sure your plans still reflect your wishes. 

3. Changes in Executors' Lives

Are your executors, contingencies, and other assigned individuals still able to fulfill their functions? Or has something in their life — such as their health, their free time, or their willingness — changed over time? Also, consider anyone you want to do a specific task, like run your family-owned business, who may have had any life changes. 

4. Changes in Your Location

Inheritance laws are generally governed by states, so your plan must be legal according to the laws of your resident state. If you move, you should meet with an attorney in the new state to draft documents that are enforceable in your new state as soon as possible. 

5. Changes in Asset Size

When you drafted your original estate plan, what were the sizes and makeup of your assets? Have any grown or been depleted significantly? Has your primary home appreciated or gone down in value? Did you sell or buy new items in a collection? Has your family business struggled through the pandemic? Changes in the values of assets should cause you to reassess distributions. 

Could your existing estate plan be affected by any of these often-overlooked changes? If so, start making it relevant again by meeting with an estate planning attorney in your state today, or visit a site like http://wolfleylawoffice.com/ to learn more.