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  • Published: August 7, 2023

Your estate plan is a vital shield, safeguarding your family and assets, both now and in the future. However, estate planning is not a one-and-done task; it must adapt and evolve to match the shifts in your life. As your dedicated Personal Family Lawyer®, my commitment is to stand by your side through every twist and turn, guaranteeing your estate plan’s continued relevance and efficacy. I offer a complimentary estate plan review every three years and welcome your inquiries about any life changes that could impact your plan before then. Whether you’re ready to forge a new estate plan or need a thorough review of your existing one, I’m here to help. Connect with me through the scheduling link below to embark on this essential journey toward securing your family’s future.

You might perceive estate planning as a single task to check off your to-do list, but the truth is, your estate plan must be dynamic enough to accommodate the changes life brings. Whether your circumstances shift dramatically or subtly, your estate plan should align accordingly.

To ensure your estate plan stays attuned to significant life adjustments, it’s advisable to conduct a comprehensive review with your attorney at least once every three years. However, should any substantial life events arise before that timeframe, it’s crucial to promptly schedule a review to incorporate necessary updates.

Previously, we started to explore 10 life changes that might affect your estate plan. This week, we continue our exploration by uncovering five additional life events that signify the need for a plan reassessment.

Confronting Serious Illness or Injury:

A sudden health setback can render you incapacitated, impeding your ability to manage your affairs. To ensure your estate plan remains comprehensive, it’s essential to integrate Powers of Attorney for both healthcare and finances. These crucial documents empower you to designate a trusted individual who can oversee bill payments, asset management, and make medical decisions in cases where you cannot communicate your wishes.

Moreover, including healthcare directives that outline your medical preferences in incapacitating situations is paramount. Covering dietary restrictions, religious beliefs, and treatment limits, these directives guide your Power of Attorney, assuring their decisions align harmoniously with your desires.

Transitioning Between States:

Each state possesses distinct estate planning laws and regulations. If you’ve recently moved from another state after establishing your estate plan, seeking guidance from a local attorney for a thorough review is imperative. A non-compliant plan could lead to delays and potential court involvement during critical moments.

Collaborating with a local attorney to align your plan with state requirements guarantees its immediate applicability, avoiding confusion or hindrance.

Tying the Knot:

Marriage ushers in not just joy but also legal adjustments that demand attention. When you marry, your estate plan must mirror your altered marital status. Some states automatically grant co-ownership of certain assets to your spouse, yet this doesn’t guarantee seamless asset transfer posthumously.

To ensure a smooth transition of assets to your spouse in times of incapacity or death, updating beneficiaries and outlining shared asset arrangements is indispensable. This could also encompass provisions safeguarding your spouse’s financial and emotional well-being after your passing.

Navigating Divorce:

Dissolving a marriage constitutes a significant life event necessitating immediate estate plan reevaluation. Post-divorce, a comprehensive overhaul is typically needed, encompassing the creation of a new Will and Trust, revising beneficiary designations, and adjusting asset distribution to align with your altered circumstances and relationships.

For those with children from a previous marriage, revisiting guardianship provisions and financial support arrangements is often essential.

Responding to Legal Changes:

Tax laws are susceptible to modifications, potentially impacting your estate plan’s efficacy. Major alterations in federal or state estate tax laws call for a meticulous plan review, aiming to minimize tax burdens and secure your wealth’s passage to your loved ones.

Even if prior tax laws didn’t affect you, considering the impending changes in federal estate tax law set for 2026 is prudent. Through vigilant estate planning, you can potentially sidestep substantial tax liabilities, preserving your family’s financial stability.

Your estate plan serves as an enduring fortress, shielding your family and assets not just today but across generations. Nevertheless, estate planning is an ongoing journey, evolving in tandem with life’s transitions. As your Personal Family Lawyer®, my commitment is unwavering—to stand by your side through every twist and turn, ensuring your estate plan remains steadfast and potent, regardless of life’s twists. I offer a complimentary estate plan review every three years, and I encourage you to connect with me before then with queries about any life changes that may impact your plan.

Should you be ready to construct a comprehensive estate plan or require a meticulous review of your existing one, I am here to assist you. Click here to embark on this vital voyage toward securing your family’s enduring well-being. I eagerly await the opportunity to hear from you.

Dana Baker, Esq.

My goal is to be your trusted advisor who helps you make the
very best personal, financial, legal, and business decisions
for your family and your business throughout your lifetime
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