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Does your estate plan reflect your current final wishes?

Those individuals who have created estate plans in the past should be sure that their documents remain current after any changes in their family situation.
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    December 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Does your estate plan reflect your current final wishes?

Article provided by Pursley McNamara & Flint, PLLC
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Many people who create estate plans may feel as though their work is done after the initial documents have been drafted. They believe that the plans that they have put in place will ensure that their loved ones will be the only ones who receive any of their property once they pass away.

However, these individuals may experience significant changes in their families unexpectedly. These changes can have a major impact on estate planning, as the plans that have been recently drafted will need to be modified in order to be reflective of the current situation.

Divorce is one of the most major reasons these plans need to be changed. Individuals may have created a plan that passes along a great deal of property to a person who is now an ex-spouse. It is important to be sure that those individuals such as ex-spouses or step-children are removed from the estate plan after the divorce is final, or it may result in unintended consequences. Additionally, if a person is remarried, it is important that the new family members are listed on any new documents.

The death of a beneficiary is another reason to update an estate plan. Individuals will need to decide how that person's share should be distributed to remaining beneficiaries. This is especially important if the individual was to receive a large amount of assets, as failing to account for this property could create serious problems for others listed in the will.

Estate tax laws are frequently changing as well, and it is important that individuals check that their plans take these laws into consideration. If the plan is not set up properly, a large portion of the assets may be subject to these taxes, leaving little to pass along to beneficiaries. This is a crucial step for business owners and other individuals with substantial assets.

Every person's family situation is different, and it will continue to change drastically over time. It is important that you take steps to protect your loved ones in your estate planning documents. Failing to make these changes may result in your property passing to unintended beneficiaries or leading to it being tied up in litigation.

No one wants their family and friends to have to deal with these issues at such a difficult time. You should review the documents that you have in place with an experienced estate planning attorney to be certain that the plan you have in place is reflective of your final wishes. Reviewing your estate plan will also help you protect your assets from any tax consequences due to changes in the law.

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