The longer it is since you made your estate plan, the more likely you need to update it. Taking an hour to glance over your plan once a year can help you ensure it is always up to date.
Estate plans do not have a technical expiration date like food items, yet the consequences of your estate plan being out of date could prove far more costly.
An up-to-date estate plan can help you reduce or avoid taxes
The phrase “tax avoidance” may conjure unsavory images of shady businesspeople failing to declare their total income, yet estate planning is always partially geared toward legally reducing the estate taxes.
The government offers you various legitimate options to reduce the tax you pay on what you want to leave to your family. These may change with time. If you do not understand the current options available, you will pay money to the IRS that you could have instead left to your family.
A current estate plan ensures you leave assets to the correct people
Imagine you are your parents’ third child. When they die, you discover to your horror that they did not leave you anything. Instead, they left it all to your two elder siblings. When you look at the date on their estate plan, you understand why — they made it before you were born and forgot to update it to add you.
Most people don’t enjoy thinking about their own mortality — but it’s important to occasionally review your estate plans with some experienced guidance to help you understand what you may need to update or change to best benefit your heirs.