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estate plan

Keeping with the Current: Is Your Estate Plan Up-to-Date?

I think we can all agree that life is always in flux. The “current” keeps moving us along and often without us paying attention to changing circumstances that present themselves to us along the way. Often, those changes in life have a way of impacting decisions we made some time ago regarding our long-term plans. It is, therefore, important to periodically review your estate plan documents to be certain they reflect your current needs, circumstances, and wishes.

Certain life events that could warrant a review or modification to your plan are:

1) Changes in your Family Circumstances: Have there been any births, marriages, divorces, adoptions, or deaths within your immediate family or beneficiaries?

2) Financial Changes: Have you acquired or sold any significant assets over the course of time since your estate plan documents were drafted?

3) Changes in Health: Has there been a significant change in your health or the health of your loved ones?

Most of us find ourselves going years without evaluating how our drafted estate plan documents align with our current needs and wishes. Our firm suggests “well-checks” annually for your estate documents. Each year, start the new year by reading through your last will and testament, advance medical directive, financial power of attorney, trust, and/or any other long-term planning documents that were each drafted intentionally to prepare for future scenarios. Are the decisions you made then reflective of the decisions you would make today? If not, it may be time to update your estate plan. There are usually simple modifications that will offer you peace of mind as you envision future scenarios when those documents will be necessary. Sometimes, you may need additional protection with a more robust long-term plan. In either case, you may benefit from consulting with an estate and elder law attorney that can offer you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your current wishes and needs will be observed down the road.

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