5 Reasons to Revisit your Estate Plan Annually

If you have gone a year or more without looking back over your estate plan, we strongly suggest you make time to do so. Retirees’ situations are changing constantly now, with people working longer than they used to and retirees starting new businesses at a greater rate than years’ past. Blended families are becoming more common now, which presents more options in regards to beneficiaries in Wills and other estate planning tools. Although you might not think you need to go over your estate plan again, here are seven reasons why we think you should:


  • Keep up with changes in laws. To start, Congress passed a tax-reform bill that became law in 2018. In addition to altering rates for many tax brackets, the law also increased the exemption for estates to $11.2 million per person. So, if your estate is valued at that or less, you will not have a tax burden on your estate. State tax laws also change from time-to-time, warranting updates to your estate plan.



  • Change in marriage status. If you go through a divorce and your ex-spouse was previously a beneficiary in your Will, you might want to change his or her status in your Will or trust. You should definitely revisit your estate documents if an ex-spouse is designated as a trustee or executor of your Will. A change in marriage status for family members can change things for your estate plan, as well.



  • Changes in your investments. Many seniors feel they have enough financial freedom to make some investments and take some small, calculated risks with their money as they age. If you are one of those people who likes to make things interesting, it is possible you have received a financial windfall during your golden years. If assets continue to build up, you might want to consider shifting some of those assets to a family member or close friend so your estate can avoid a tax burden later on.



  • Getting older. Time marches on – for you and your family. Your estate plan should change as you and your children’s ages do. When your children become legal adults, it is a good idea to revise some items in your estate plan to reflect their new statuses. As your children mature and possibly give you grandchildren, you will have exciting opportunities to name more beneficiaries.



  • You lose trust in your executor. Sure, your Will executor or trustee might have seemed like a good choice at the time, but people—and their situations—often change. Earlier, we discussed changing your executor if you get divorced, yet plenty of other circumstances dictate the need for a new executor. Relocation of you or your executor to another state or country can be a factor in this decision. 



It is important for your estate plan to keep up with your life before and after your retirement, because you are not done living your life. Due to a myriad of changing situations, we strongly recommend revisiting your estate plan annually to ensure the best outcome for you and your loved ones. Whether you need assistance in altering your estate plan or creating a brand new one, get in touch with us today for a free initial consultation.

Luis E. Barreto