The Importance of Keeping Your Estate Plan Up to Date
If you have taken the time to develop an estate plan, you are already ahead of about half of all Americans. In creating an estate plan, you have recognized the importance of planning for the future. Of course, estate planning means more than just deciding who will get which of your assets upon your death; the process can also help ensure that provisions are in place for a time when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
As an experienced estate planning lawyer, I applaud those who have taken the necessary steps to secure their future and that of their families. Too many people, however, view estate planning as a “one-and-done”-type endeavor. Once the plan has been created, it is checked off a person’s to-do list, rarely to be thought about again. I cannot stress enough the dangers of such an approach. Life changes can happen very quickly, and if your estate plan becomes obsolete, it can be just as bad as not having one at all.
Keeping Track of Assets
Perhaps the most obvious reason to review your estate plan from time to time has to do with your continued accumulation of assets. Depending on when your plan was last updated, you may have set aside significantly more savings or made wise investments that have paid off handsomely. Because of this, your tax liabilities may have changed, as well as your intentions for distributing your estate among your heirs. With substantially more wealth, you may have even decided to include more charitable giving in your estate plan.
Evolving Health Concerns
There is no question that aging brings with it a whole host of health issues for most people. As you get older, your outlook on what you want regarding your future health care may evolve as well. Your estate plan should be continually updated to meet your changing wants and needs. For example, when you first created your estate plan, you may have included a living will that directed health care professionals to extend your life by any means necessary. If you now feel differently about the subject, your plan should be amended to reflect your current wishes.
Executors, Powers of Attorney, and Beneficiaries
Over time, your relationships with people in your life are bound to change. Do you still trust the person you named as your power of attorney the same way you once did? Is the individual you chose as the executor of your will still willing and able to assume the responsibilities? Is he or she even still alive and healthy? As you review your estate plan, take a careful look at the people that you have named in various capacities, including as heirs and beneficiaries. If changes are needed, now is the time to make them.
Our Naperville Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help
When you are ready to review your estate plan, an experienced Hoffman Estates estate planning attorney can provide the guidance you need. Call us at the Gierach Law Firm today at 630-756-1160 to schedule your confidential consultation. We are here to help you offer your family the security and peace of mind they deserve.