Nearly 2.5 million Americans die each year, and many haven't signed the basic documents needed to protect their loved ones. If you haven't yet tackled the subject, there's no time like the present. Otherwise, you should revisit your plan about every 2-3 years, or more often if there have been changes in your finances, your personal life (including your health), or the law. Here are some issues to consider in light of the tax overhaul:

7 Ways Your Estate Plan May Be Obsolete

  • Make sure your estate planning documents do not result in any unintended consequences. For example, some people who had their estate plans prepared many years ago may have left the estate tax exemption amount directly to their children, or the full Generation Skipping Exemption amount directly to their grandchildren. With the current $11.2 million estate tax exemption (per individual), that may result in their entire estate being transferred that way.
  • If you previously set up trusts or family entities (such as family limited partnerships or liability companies) primarily for the purpose of minimizing estate taxes, discuss with advisors whether to modify or dismantle those arrangements. Keep in mind that there are many non-tax reasons for setting up trusts: to provide for children from a previous marriage; protect assets from creditors and former spouses; and safeguard money if you become unable to handle your finances.
  • Does your current estate plan protect you and your assets from expensive long-term care costs?
  • Does your current estate plan permit the person of your choice to protect your estate from long-term care costs in the event you are incapacitated?
  • Does your estate plan protect your children's inheritance in the event your surviving spouse chooses to remarry?
  • Does your estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection and divorce protection for assets passed to your children?
  • Is your trust fully funded?

Want to Learn More About How Update Your Estate Plan Can Benefit Your Family?

Protecting your family's financial future is important, and making sure you're taking the correct measures to provide for them is essential. If you want to learn more about the estate planning process, download one of our free guidebooks, or contact our office by completing the form on this page to speak to me about your questions.

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