It is important to be aware that the creation of a trust or will is not the end of the process. You need to regularly review this plan to ensure that it is still well-suited to meet all of your needs. As your life changes, your plan will often need to change in order to meet these demands. Our attorneys at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, PC are knowledgeable about how to effectively review and modify your trust or estate plan to keep it suited to your current situation.
Any major life changes will likely have an impact on your trust or estate plan. These changes will have an impact on your underlying situation, which will have an additional impact on your future. When you are aware of the specific events that generally require a review of your estate plan or trust, you will be able to keep your plan current and ensure it addresses your specific situation.
Whenever you get married, you will want to ensure that you review your trust or estate plan. This is especially important if you have been married previously. You may want to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect any children you already have. By reviewing the plan and modifying it appropriately, you will be able to ensure that the plan includes your new spouse rather than a prior one, while protecting children from a previous marriage.
It is important to regularly consider the designated guardian for your child. When you have major life changes, you may want to make changes to the appointed guardian. This will ensure that you are often putting thought into the future that will best protect your children. These changes can be made when you review your estate plan or trust.
New children are another important reason to review your trust or estate plan. This may be children of your own or even grandchildren. Regular reviews will help you to ensure that stepchildren, adopted children, biological children, and more are all accounted for with your particular plan.
Divorce is a major reason to review your trust or estate plan. If you created an estate plan while married, it is likely that your previous spouse was included in your plan. You will want to modify the plan so that your assets are distributed to the individuals that you choose.
Ultimately, life is filled with changes. This will likely result in the addition or subtraction of your property or assets. When this is the case, you will need to review the trust or estate plan in order to ensure that it includes these changing assets. This will ensure that your plan is still well-designed to meet all of your needs.
Changing Tax Laws
As with your assets, tax laws are also liable to change. When you review your plan on a regular basis, you will be able to compare it to these changing tax laws. This will ensure that your plan still complies with the laws and that its design will still be effective.
Death of a Beneficiary
In the event of the death of a beneficiary, you will want to update your estate plan. This will ensure that you are able to direct those assets to the beneficiaries that you desire. For example, you may want your previous beneficiary’s children to receive their share or may want it to be distributed equally among your other beneficiaries. Regular review will help you to make these decisions.
Appoint a Different Trustee
The trustee that you choose for your estate plan or trust may also fluctuate over time. During the review process, you may decide to appoint a different trustee to help protect your assets. Review will ensure that you think about this and make the best decision for your particular situation.
How Often You Should Review Your Plan
Even if you don’t have any major life changes, it is important to review your trust or estate plan. We recommend that you review this plan with your attorney approximately every 3 to 5 years. It will also be important to revisit your plan following any major life changes. You can consult with our team for more information about which life changes could require modification of your estate plan. It is essential to regularly review your trust or estate plan in order to ensure that it is effective and up-to-date with new life changes. Our experts at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, PC can help you with this review process. For more information about why you need to regularly review your trust or estate plan, contact us at Stevenson Smith Hood Knudson, PC today!