Now is a Great Time to Update Estate Plans

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning

What big changes happened to your family in the past few years? Did you gain a new baby or grandbaby? Did an elderly parent pass away? Did you finally unload a money pit of an "investment property?"

These are the sort of questions attorneys are asking clients right now. A new year has begun, and it's a great time to ask our clients if they have experienced big changes that affect their estate plans. Basically, we are asking our clients to consider whether any of these events might require a change in their estate planning.

Accountability is key

If grandma passed away last year, then our clients might not need to be concerned with the cost of grandma's medical care anymore, but what about planning for your own? Have you considered buying long-term care insurance or whether you will need to qualify for Medicaid?

Did you get married? If you took title to a house before you got married, as is often the case these days since many couples choose to live together before marriage, then you may need to re-deed a property to yourselves. This makes it clear that you hold the property as tenants by the entireties with all the legal benefits that entails.

Did you get divorced? If so, then it's definitely time to update those estate planning documents.

And, the beachside condo you bought for family vacations in Florida might need to be protected inside a trust.

Clients often don't realize that family additions and losses often require a change in their planning. They also don't realize how crucial it is to update your planning documents whenever you buy or sell a valuable asset.

That's why many estate planning attorneys offer annual estate plan reviews or maintenance programs to help you keep your records up-to-date. It's all about accountability.

To learn more about common estate planning issues, check out our free guide, Estate Planning Pitfalls: The 12 Most Common Threats to Your Estate & Your Family's Future, or to discuss your estate planning concerns, please call our office at 919-443-3035 or use our contact form.