With your estate plan successfully implemented, one final but critical step remains: carrying out a periodic review and update. After all, if the only constant is change, it isn't unreasonable to speculate that your wishes have changed, the advantages you sought have eroded or vanished, or even that new opportunities now exist that could offer a better value for your estate. A periodic review can give you peace of mind.
When should you conduct a review of your estate plan?
Although there's no hard-and-fast rule about when you should review your estate plan, the following suggestions may be of some help:
- You should review your estate plan immediately after a major life event
- You'll probably want to do a quick review each year because changes in the economy and in the tax code often occur on a yearly basis
- You'll want to do a more thorough review every five years
There will be times when you may need to make changes to your plan to ensure that it still meets all of your goals. For example, an executor, trustee or guardian may pass away or even change their mind about serving in that capacity, and you'll need to name someone else.
Other reasons you may want to consider a periodic review include:
- Your marital status has changed (many states have laws that revoke part or all of your will if you marry or get divorced) or that of your children or grandchildren
- Your family has grown through a birth, adoption or marriage
- Your spouse or a family member has died, has become ill or is incapacitated
- Your spouse, your parents or other family member has become dependent on you
- You experienced a substantial change in the value of your assets or plans for their use
- You received a sizable inheritance or gift
- Your income level or requirements have changed
- You made a change in your closely held business interest
- You are retiring
- You changed your insurance coverage
- You updated your estate plan (e.g., you created a trust or executed a codicil to your will)
Keep in mind that while trusts offer numerous advantages, they incur up-front costs and often have ongoing administrative fees. The use of trusts involves a complex web of tax rules and regulations. You should consider the counsel of an experienced estate planning professional and your legal and tax advisers before implementing such strategies.
There are other important changes which may prompt you to review and revise your estate plans—the preceding are a few common examples. Contacting a financial planning professional, like those with Busey Wealth Management, can provide the guidance you need to ensure you have a solid estate plan in place. To learn more about our suite of financial planning services, visit busey.com/wealth-management.
This is not intended to provide legal, tax or accounting advice. Any statement contained in this communication concerning U.S. tax matters is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties imposed on the relevant taxpayer. Clients should obtain their own independent tax advice based on their particular circumstances.
This material is provided for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities.
This presentation is for general information purposes only. It does not take into account the particular investment objectives, restrictions, tax and financial situation or other needs of any specific client.
Investment products and services through Busey Wealth Management are:
Not FDIC INSURED | May lose value | No bank guarantee