Changes That Could Require That You Revisit Your Living Will
When you create an estate plan, you may think that it’s done, and you are set. One more item off your “to do” list, and you can now focus on other things. Well, not so fast. Because life itself is changing and dynamic, so too can things in your estate plan change.
Here are some events that can happen—some that you may know about and some that you may be completely unaware of—that can make your estate plan outdated and in need of revision pretty quickly.
The laws changed – When you draft your estate plan, you do it to maximize the benefit to your beneficiaries under the current laws—especially when it comes to tax laws. But laws change all the time, and some change quite frequently. You should always revisit your estate plan, to see if it still affords you the maximum advantage under the most current laws.
You got more or new property – You may think that everything that you acquire after you create a trust, automatically becomes part of your trust. But that’s not the case. You may need to ensure that any property acquired after you created a trust, is titled in the trust’s name, if you intend for that property to avoid probate and pass according to the terms of the trust.
You also can eliminate items from your trust that you no longer own. This can help avoid confusion, or anybody trying to find or value property after you are gone, when the property no longer exists.
You have Payable on Death accounts – Some accounts you may want to make payable on death (POD), but some you may not. And through time you may acquire POD property, such as opening bank accounts. You may need to revisit your estate plan, to make sure that assets that are owned by the trust or tilted in its name, aren’t also POD accounts.
Public benefits – Many times, inheritances or items left in a trust, can take people off need-based government assistance programs. When you made your estate plan, there was nobody in that situation. But could there be now? Could you have someone who was not getting public benefits when you made your estate plan, but now is, and that person could now lose those benefits with your estate plan in its current state?
Beneficiaries have passed away – Although your trust can and should address what happens when a beneficiary predeceases you, it’s always best to clear these matters up while you still can. When a beneficiary predeceases you, it could throw things into a confusing tailspin, or invite squabbling amongst beneficiaries, if the trust isn’t cleaned up to reflect these changes.
Call the Torrance will attorneys at Samuel Ford Law today to review your estate plan and ensure that it still says what you need or want it to say.