Estate planning should not be viewed as a one and done affair. When you put an original estate plan in place, it will be based on a snapshot of your life at that time. The only constant is change, so it is very likely that your plan will need to be revised over the years.
Let’s look at some of the events that can make estate plan adjustments necessary.
When you are young and single, you should have a basic estate plan in place even if you have limited resources. The plan would include health care documents that could be very important if you become unable to communicate due to an illness or accident.
When you get married, you and your spouse will make a commitment to one another. If you are like most younger couples, your lifestyle will be based on the income that is brought in by two people.
Yes, it is unlikely that a young person will pass away, but it does happen. You should think pragmatically and put a plan in place so that both partners are protected for what may come.
Another major event that would call for an adjustment to your estate plan is the arrival of your first child. At that point, your responsibilities will increase, and you have to be certain that everyone is protected.
There is the financial side of the equation, and your estate plan should also include a guardian nomination for your dependent child.
Additions and Subtractions to the Family
Over the years, you may have additional children, and people that are named in your estate plan could pass away. For example, many young adults would name an older relative to serve as a trustee or executor, and unfortunately, you never know what the future holds.
Divorce and Remarriage
A significant percentage of marriages end in divorce, and the majority of folks that go through divorces eventually remarry. Clearly, these events would render your existing estate plan obsolete.
If you get remarried after having children, there are steps that you can take to provide for your spouse while you protect the inheritances that you want to leave to your children.
Financial Status Changes
If you put your estate plan in place when you are in your 20s or 30s, over the years, it is very likely that your financial status will improve. This can definitely impact the way that your estate plan should be structured.
This is true even if you are not exposed to the estate tax, but the death tax would be a source of concern for very successful people.
The federal estate tax impacts individuals with estates that are valued at more than $11.58 million. There is also a state level estate tax here in Connecticut, and the exclusion is much lower at $5.1 million. If you your estate will be in taxable territory, there are steps that you can take to mitigate your exposure.
Changes to Relevant Laws
Laws that apply to estate planning can and do change. For example, the federal estate tax exclusion was in the $5 million range a couple of years ago. Laws that impact other estate related matters can also be altered via legislative mandate.
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We are here to help if your existing estate plan should be revised, and of course, we can help you put your initial plan in place. Each situation is different, so personalized attention is key. This is exactly what you will receive when you choose our firm.
You can schedule a consultation appointment right now if you call us at 860-548-1000, and you can use our contact form if you would like to send us a message.
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