They say that time flies, and 2013 is now behind us. As you turn the page and enter a new year, you may be revisiting some of the things on your to-do list that you have been procrastinating about. With this in mind, have you looked at your estate plan in a while?
Estate planning should be seen as an ongoing process rather than a one-time event. Imagine putting a financial plan in place the day that you start at your first career position. This is actually a good idea, but you are aware of the fact that you will need to revise your plan as circumstances in your life change.
You will probably be able to set aside much more money on a monthly basis as you move up over the years. If you get married and have children you will have shifting priorities, and this will certainly call for alterations to your existing financial plan.
In addition to the things that take place within your own life, there are market conditions that affect everyone that would naturally compel you to make adjustments to your financial plan.
The same situation exists when it comes to estate planning. In fact, estate planning can be seen as an extension of the financial planning that you have been engaged in throughout your life.
As the circumstances of your life change, your estate plan should be altered to reflect these changes.
When you are a young adult first starting out you may not have accumulated much wealth. As a result, your estate may be planned without concern for estate taxes.
Over time you may enjoy success. At some point, you may be exposed to death taxes.
Here in Connecticut we have an estate tax on the state-level. The amount of the state-level exemption is $2 million. If you intend to transfer more than this amount to your loved ones you should position your assets with tax efficiency in mind.
On the federal level the amount of the estate tax exclusion is $5.34 million in 2014. The maximum rate of this tax is 40 percent.
If you are now exposed to transfer taxes and your estate plan was implemented when you were not, you should certainly make the appropriate revisions.
Estate Planning Consultation
Whether you are exposed to estate taxes or not, ongoing revisions are going to be necessary if you want to be prepared at all times.
If you would like to review your existing estate plan with the benefit of legal counsel contact our firm to schedule a free consultation in 2014. We would be glad to look over your existing estate plan, discuss your current situation with you, and make recommendations with regard to any revisions that may be necessary.