Thursday, February 28, 2013

Top 3 reasons to update your estate plan

1. Your family dynamic changes - Your estate plan should reflect your family values. Family dynamics change with the birth or adoption of a child, the passing of a loved one or going through a separation. All of these life changes are reasons to schedule an appointment with an estate planner. Even if you are contemplating a divorce, a simple conversation with an estate attorney can clarify important outcomes of your decision. As your family dynamic changes, your estate plan should be updated to reflect your new wishes for distribution. 2. The Law changes - The American Taxpayer Relief Act made permanent tax rates and exemptions for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. If your estate plan was influenced by prior laws which incorporated "sunset" provisions for tax rates and exemptions, you need to revisit your estate plan. A competent attorney can inform you how the latest laws affect your estate plan. 3. Life is busy - Our lives are full and often hectic. Take some time to periodically review your life insurance or retirement account beneficiary designations. This quick check can ensure that your forms reflect your current wishes. Perhaps your retirement plans are more than enough to meet your retirement needs. In that case, donating your life insurance to your favorite charity may be a highly attractive option by providing an important deduction.