How often should I have my estate planning papers reviewed? I had mine done ten years ago and I and I don’t think much has changed. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily.
– Economical on St. Edmunds
Dear Economical on St. Edmunds:
I totally understand. It is good to have “check-up” visits … even with your lawyer! Many things change in a decade.
Common changes to estate papers are often due to: (1) new laws; (2) people in your life changing; (3) new accounts; and (4) mistakes in the documents you never knew were there.
Regarding #1: There were significant changes made to federal tax law two years ago, so you should have papers reviewed in light of this.
Regarding #2: Deciding who is put in charge of your funds is one of the most important parts of your plan. I can’t tell you how many stories I have heard of “things going south” because the wrong person was given control. Please review this and think it through.
Regarding #3: If your accounts or assets have changed, you should have a review to make sure things are titled correctly and that beneficiary forms are correct.
Regarding #4: I have at least three files on my desk where the previous lawyer made a mistake in the documents and I caught it during a review (a second set of eyes…).
Estate Planning Impacts All of YOUR Money!
An Ounce of Prevention…