Recent surveys show that fewer than half of all U.S. adults have a will, let alone a complete estate plan. While those in the minority may rest easier at night, they may still forget an important piece of effective estate planning.
Put simply; it is not enough to draft a will and be done with it. Instead, it is essential to review and update your estate plan at least every few years, as well as whenever you experience a major change in life circumstances.
Whether you have a simple will in place or a more comprehensive estate plan, such as planning documents for end-of-life medical care and documents pertaining to the care of your children should they become orphaned, there are several reasons why you should consider reviewing and updating your plan on a regular basis.
First, major life changes often necessitate updates to an estate plan. These include life changes such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a child or grandchild, or inheriting a significant sum of money. Failing to update your will after a major life change could have unintended consequences, like leaving a grandchild without an inheritance, for example. For this reason, it is best practice to revisit your estate plan whenever you experience a significant life change. In addition, if you recently moved to Colorado, you may need to update your estate plan to ensure that your final wishes will actually be carried out.
Second, changes in other people’s life circumstances could mean that your will or estate plan will no longer operate as you had planned. For example, many people pick their parents as a guardian for their children should they pass, but grandparents do not always live to see their grandchildren reach the age of majority. If this is the case, then you will need to designate a new guardian in your will when your parents pass.
Finally, changes in the legal landscape of estate planning can render your existing plan less effective for passing along intergenerational wealth. For example, changes to applicable taxes could mean that your plan to hold onto all of your assets until after your death will be quite costly for your loved ones.
Reviewing and updating an estate plan is not a task you should complete yourself, but it need not be a costly endeavor. Experienced estate planning attorneys can help you identify key items to review, and the cost of the necessary updates may be minimal.
Contact a Colorado Estate-Planning Attorney
Whether you have a complex estate plan in place or just a basic will, obtaining professional assistance to review and revise the documents that will determine the fate of your life’s work on a regular basis is a task that should not be put off. For many years, the Braverman Law Group, LLC has provided advice and representation regarding Boulder estate plans, special needs trusts, asset protection strategies, and more. Because we are a small firm, we are able to provide each client with a truly personalized experience in the estate-planning process. We focus on ensuring that you understand all of your options so that you walk away feeling confident about the choices you have made. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an estate planning attorney from our office, call (303) 800-1588 today.