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Estate Planning Series: When Is it Time to Update your Estate Planning?

October 27, 2017








We covered the estate planning basics in a prior post.  Now we will turn to when is time to update your estate planning? 


Estate planning is not a one time experience. Circumstances change, people change and the law changes. Your estate planning must keep up with those changes.


At Leos & Gilkerson, PLLC, we generally recommend people review and possibly update their estate planning documents every 3 to 5 years, or earlier in the following situations:


  1. Death in the Family. If anyone named in your Will or other estate planning documents has passed away, you should update your Will and other estate planning documents.

  2. New Addition to the Family. New baby, possibly new pet, means an estate planning update is in order. We have provided a new baby checklist that might be helpful in this regard

  3. Children become Legal Adults. When each of your children attain the age of 18 years old. 

  4. Divorce or Marriage.

  5. New state laws.  You need to periodically check to see whether your state has enacted new laws that impact your estate planning documents.

  6. Move to a Different State.  If you move to a different state, don't assume that your estate planning made in your previous state conforms to the requirements of your new state. It generally does not. Each state has its own legal requirements for estate planning. 

  7. Receive inheritance. If you receive an inheritance this may increase the estate tax you may owe. 

  8. Change in Financial Situation. A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.

  9. Sale/Purchase of Significant Asset. The acquisition or disposition of a significant asset.

  10. Approaching Retirement Age. You should see an attorney about reviewing and updating your estate plans prior to reaching 70 1/2 years of age if you have an IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan that requires you to begin to take distributions at age 70 1/2.                                                                                                                                                                            If it has been a while since your estate planning documents were reviewed or you fall under one of the situations listed above and need to update your estate planning, contact us, we would be happy to assist you. 


Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice from Leos & Gilkerson, PLLC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed lawyer. 

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