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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

When Should I Review My Estate Plan?

You took one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones by creating a proper estate plan.   Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones of the expenses, delays and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.   The next step is knowing when to have your estate plan reviewed.

A great time to review your estate plan is if you have experienced any major changes in your family situation, health or finances.  The addition of new family members is a time to rejoice and celebrate, but is also a good time to review your estate plan to assure that the newest members are properly accounted for in your estate.  On the other side, as our loved ones pass away we should remember to review our plan to adjust for the death of our designated agents or beneficiaries.    A change in yours or a loved one’s health such as diagnosis of a serious illness or disability is a key time to review your estate plan as well. 

If you have moved from another State, you should have your estate plan documents reviewed.   Laws can vary from State to State, especially Medicaid laws, so it is important to make sure that your documents are up to date with the current State laws.

Another good time to review your estate plan is when a new law passes that can potentially affect your estate plan.  For example, the recent legislative passage of the SECURE ACT changes when distributions are taken from retirement accounts and therefore could affect your wishes regarding your retirement account. 

If none of the above applies to your situation, then I advise that it is good to have your estate plan documents reviewed every 3 to 5 years to make sure that your estate plan documents fit your current situation and are up to date with the current laws.  At Severns & Howard we are happy to schedule a meeting to review your estate plan with you.   Contact our office at (317) 817-0300 to schedule a meeting.

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