Top 5 Reasons Why Your Estate Plan Needs Your Attention!

Estate planning isn’t meant to be a “one and done” type of project. Estate planning reflects the totality of a person’s life, and it should reflect changes that occur in our lives. Not only is a periodic review necessary, it also provides peace of mind in knowing your family’s needs are covered today in case the unthinkable were to happen tomorrow. Here are the 5 biggest reasons your estate plan needs your attention:

Reason #1 - Have you moved? 

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, in 2011 alone, new home purchases increased by 11 percent. Two years later, new home purchases decreased by 18 percent. These are the types of life changes we work for, but sometimes forget to include in our estate plan until years later. Moving, especially to a different state, can impact your estate plan significantly.

Reason #2 - Have you or your spouse received an inheritance?

If so, don’t forget the tax benefits that can help you make the most of the inheritance. Our estate planning attorneys can show you effective tools that allow you to make your inheritance help achieve your goals.

Reason #3 - Have you gotten married or remarried?

If so, you’ll need to reconsider your entire estate plan. Also, don’t forget to make changes on your retirement plan. You can’t simply change your beneficiary in your will or trust. You must change the beneficiary designation with the custodian of the plan. Otherwise, your former spouse may end up with a windfall you didn’t intend!

Reason #4 - Have you gotten divorced?

Divorce is another event that will require a review of your estate plan. With nearly half of all first marriages, up to 70 percent of second marriages, and an alarming 85 percent of third marriages ending in divorce, it’s crucial you recognize the challenges and have them reflected in your estate plan.

Reason #5 - Have you welcomed new children or grandchildren?

Perhaps you recently welcomed a new child or grandchild? Maybe an adoption? Be sure to reflect additions to your family in your estate plan.

The people, property, and perceptions in your life can change. Reviewing your estate plan periodically is necessary and smart. Consult our estate planing attorneys to ensure your estate plan reflects the future, not the past.

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones