The Important of Updating Existing Estate Plans Going into a New Year

Managing legal issues of any kind can be difficult but especially those dealing with the passing of a loved one and probate.  The issues that can arise in these situations often cost a good deal of time and money to establish their outcome.  Although these situations should be avoided with an up to date estate plan in place this is not always the case. We get busy and what was once true and current can often become dated and murky.

Estate Planning Attorney

Hiring an attorney that specializes in family law while focusing on elder care, estate planning, and probate law can often help in ensuring that upon your passing your estate is distributed without issue.  However, if there is an issue they will understand how to help your family to avoid time consuming, costly legal battles.

To avoid issues that can arise upon your untimely passing or inability to take care of yourself any longer you need to have an updated estate plan in place.  There are a million and ten reasons that an estate plan can become outdated therefore it is important going into a new year to look at what is in place and make the updates that are needing.

Life Is Full Of Change

There may be major reason in your life including changes in the law, family changes including divorce, marriage, death and more, personal decisions, and more.  Documents within your estate plan also can become outdated.  Another scenario that often comes up are with the sub trusts and the federal tax exemption and portability which are a new concept.

Federal tax is assessed on the descendent and their estate for any amount larger than the exemption that is allowed upon death.  The estate and gift tax exemption for 2017 is 5.49 million per individual.  It is also important to think about relationship changes within the family; were there any marriages, divorces, births, deaths, adoptions, and so forth.  These changes to your family should be accessed and modified as seen fit.  Keeping an up to date, crystal clear, plan for your estate will ensure an easier transition for your family upon you passing.  The last thing that people want during the grieving process is to process issues arising from improper planning.

Updating Your Legal Documents

There are several reasons to update wills and trusts, estate plans, beneficiary information, and so forth.  No one likes to think about it, but your passing can happen without any notice.  In case of your untimely passing it is important to ensure that estate ends up in the hands of the beneficiaries you desire.

To guarantee that this is the case it is important to have a plan in place that is regularly reviewed and updated by an attorney specializing in family law and estate planning.  Having an attorney that is up to date on the current laws regarding inheritance, real estate, transfers of ownership, and the working of the courts in all things related to probate as they can make sure the documentation is valid and the changes that are completed are done so according to local and federal laws.

There are times when you have in your mind about changing the estate plan but due to your ignorance you do not complete the task. In such situation if a serious condition or death occurs then it becomes difficult to manage your estate plan. It is always important that you never let anyone know what you want them to have and simply get it done to the estate documents.

Make Yearly Reviews A Necessity

It is important to make changes as you see fit however we all know how life gets in the way.  Make sure to get in at least once a year around the New Year without exception.  There is no meaning in waiting for the time to come. It is important that you complete this task as quick as it is possible for you so that you get peace of mind. If you are not having a plan, then you should meet your estate planning attorney in New Year and plan. You should get the documents ready as soon as possible. If you have assets, then you should get some beneficiaries added to it.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols, call 734.386.0224 today.

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