As we face the health changes that have emerged from Covid-19, many of us want to ensure that our wishes can be honored in a crisis. We want to ensure that our chosen decision maker can make our decisions and that we will be as protected as possible.
There are many life circumstances, outside of a pandemic, that should trigger a re-evaluation of your estate plan. These can include changes to:
- Marital status,
- Births, or deaths in the family,
- Shifting of altered financial priorities,
- Retirement or planning for retirement,
- Failing health, or
- A need for daily long-term care.
Even a significant change to your tax situation can have a profound effect on the value and distribution of your estate. For these reasons, and more, a periodic review is always advisable.
You may be asking, how often should I review my Ohio estate plan? We suggest that our clients review their estate plan every few years, or immediately if any significant situations in your life have changed. While some of these changes may be happy events, such as the birth of a grandchild, other circumstances may not be as pleasant. Dealing with them now, however, can help you avoid complicated situations in the future.
You may wonder what aspects of your estate plan may require review? Let us share a few considerations with you right here.
1. Personal choices. Health and happiness are goals we all share. Ensuring you are well cared for when you cannot care for yourself is a big part of the estate planning process. Additionally, you may have provided for specific people, but if one passes away, you should review and reassign those assets.
2. Agents and decision makers. You have more than likely chosen decision makers who can serve as agents for documents, such as your Durable Power of Attorney. These agents are people you have entrusted to make the decisions for you should you be unable to do so yourself. If something happens to your primary or secondary decision maker, or both of them, you will need to review your estate plan and reassign these tasks to another individual.
3. Update Your Beneficiaries. Be sure your beneficiary allocations are up-to-date. If you have recently married, divorced, or separated, or if you have experienced a birth or death in your family, you should schedule a review.
4. Mitigate Tax Risk. Changes to estate tax laws can have a big impact on the value of your estate. Additionally, if you move to another state, you might be subject to different taxation laws. You do not want to leave your loved ones with a tax burden and an estate planning attorney can help you navigate any changes that could impact your situation.
How long has it been since you reviewed your estate plan? Do you need to create one for the first time? We encourage you to not wait, but to reach out today to schedule an appointment with us.