Revisit your estate plan every few years
So you devised a will or trust. You've already decided how you want your assets to be distributed. You know who you want to receive them after you pass away.
An estate plan should never be set in stone, however. If you have established a will or trust, it's critical to revisit it every few years, according to Forbes.
That's because your circumstances, health, and wishes may change. In addition, the laws may change, as we have seen with the passage of the SECURE Act (which now affects retirement accounts included in estate plans).
How often should I revisit my estate plan?
In order to prevent legal complications in the future, it's best to consider the following:
- Keep your will current. When was your will drafted or last revisited? Have any changes occurred in your life since? If so, now is the time to make changes that fit your current circumstances.
- Include smaller items in the will. A will shouldn't only include large assets, such as a house or car. Smaller valuable items that can be passed down should also be included. Think about the small items that have been valued in your home and family for many years.
- Ensure that your wishes are legally binding. If you're unsure if your estate plan is legally binding, it's best to consult with an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney.
- Pre-plan your funeral. Planning a funeral can be hard on your loved ones. Why not make it easier by meeting with a funeral director to pre-plan your funeral? By doing so, you can leave instructions for your wishes to be carried out (whether you want to be buried or cremated, or have certain readings done at your funeral).
- Ensure that your financial affairs are in order. Any outstanding debts, recurring payments, automatic deductions from credit and debit accounts, and recurring charitable donations should be documented. This will make your estate planning executor's job easier.
- Make arrangements to care for those who survive you. You should consider who will care for your elderly parent, spouse, child, pet, or other loved one if you pass away.
- Establish a plan to distribute your personal property. Any personal property not listed in your estate plan will need to be distributed, donated, or sold. Be sure to include all items and have a plan for them to be divided up.
Should I consult with an Arizona estate planning attorney?
Whether you're just starting your estate plan or seek to make changes to an existing one, the attorneys at Brown & Jensen can help guide you through this complex process. We can ensure that any changes to your estate plan are done correctly to minimize legal complications in the future.
We serve clients across the state of Arizona. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.