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Six Ways Your Estate Plan Can Go Out of Date

Estate taxes have changed significantly in the past few years, now sheltering estates up to $11.18 million.  Higher estate tax credits mean only about 1,400 estates per year are subject to tax.  But many people have estate plans written a decade or more ago.  Without regular review and revision, outdated estate plans can create confusion and expense for heirs.  Here are six common events that should prompt you to review and revise your own plans:

  • People you named as beneficiaries of a will, living trust, life insurance, retirement plan or financial accounts have become disabled or passed away;

  • Changes in your family situation have occurred through marriage, divorce or the birth of children or grandchildren;

  • You have acquired new assets through purchases, gifts or inheritances – or significant changes have occurred in the value of your real estate and investments;

  • You sold or gave away assets mentioned in your will or living trust;

  • An executor or trustee has died, moved away or is otherwise unable to serve;

  • You have decided to make additional estate gifts, such as gifts for the charities you support.

It makes sense to review all your documents on a regular basis to see they are up to date and coordinated with your other plans.


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