Some may believe estate planning is only for the wealthy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Estate planning is for everybody.
If you have any assets or property you want to leave a beneficiary; estate planning is for you.
If you have a medical condition that could eventually leave you unable to make decisions for yourself and require a medical proxy, an estate plan is for you.
Those are just a few examples of the wide-reaching benefits of creating a will or trust. If you have yet to begin one, consider starting today. If you have an estate plan, when was the last time you looked at it? Has anything changed in your life? Review the four situations below to see if today is a good time to update your estate plan.
1. Have you moved to a different state (or country)?
Every state and country has different tax rates. They also have varying estate, inheritance, and probate tax thresholds. Some are community property states. Any time you move to an area with different tax codes, you must revisit your plan.
2. Has your family changed?
Did you get divorced? Did you adopt or have a child? Did a loved one pass away? Did you take in an ill relative? Based on each individual circumstance, these are very convenient times to adjust your estate plan accordingly. You don’t want your hard-earned assets going to the wrong person, do you?
3. Marital law updates
In 2015, same-sex marriages were mandated to be recognized in all 50 states, which paved the way for new estate-planning opportunities.
4. Being mindful of recipient legal disputes
When it comes to siblings, a common issue that can lead to probate is an unequal inheritance. Unless there is an extreme circumstance that sways you from providing equal asset division, equality is a wise practice toward keeping people happy once you pass.
Estate planning can be a stressful task, especially considering it makes you confront death, but doing so and knowing your beneficiaries are taken care of will help put your mind at ease.