Periodic Review of Your Estate Plan Will Alert You To Any Necessary Changes

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An estate plan allows you to control what happens to your property if you die or become incapacitated. Periodically reviewing your estate plan will alert you to any changes that need to be addressed.

When should you review your estate plan?

  • Immediately after a major life event
  • Annually
  • Thorough review every 5 years

There will be times when you’ll need to make changes to your plan to ensure it still meets all of your goals. For example, an executor, trustee, or guardian may die or change his or her mind about serving in that capacity, requiring you to name someone else.

Events that should trigger a periodic review:

  • Change in your marital status
  • Addition to your family through birth, adoption or marriage (stepchildren)
  • Death or incapacitation of spouse or family member
  • Spouse, parents or other family member has become dependent on you
  • Substantial change in the value of your assets or your plans for their use
  • Receipt of a sizable inheritance or gift
  • Change in income level or income requirements
  • Retirement
  • You have plans to change any part of your estate plan

Some things to review

  • Who are your family members and friends? How do you feel about them?
  • Do you have a valid will? Does it reflect your current goals and wishes? Does your choice of an executor or a guardian for your minor children remain appropriate?
  • In the event you become incapacitated, do you have a living will, durable power of attorney for health care or Do Not Resuscitate order to manage medical decisions?
  • What property do you own and how is it titled?
  • Have you reviewed your beneficiary designations for your retirement plans and life insurance policies?
  • Do you have any trusts, living or testamentary?
  • Do you plan to make any lifetime gifts to family members or friends?
  • Do you have plans for charitable gifts or bequests?
  • If you own or co-own a business, have provisions been made to transfer your business interest? Is there a buy-sell agreement with adequate funding? Would lifetime gifts be appropriate?
  • Do you own sufficient life insurance to meet your needs at death?
  • Have you considered the impact of gift, estate, generation-skipping and income taxes, both federal and state?
 Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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