When a new year rolls around, people often resolve to take care of certain responsibilities that they have been putting on the back burner. With this in mind, we urge you to schedule an estate plan review in 2021 if you have not looked at your plan in years.
There are a number of different reasons why revisions can be necessary, and we will look at some of them in this post.
Changes to Relevant Laws
Your original estate plan is based on a snapshot of the circumstances that existed at the time it was created. Over the years, legislative actions will invariably take effect, and they are sometimes related to estate matters.
As a case in point, look no further than the federal estate tax exclusion. This is the amount that can be transferred before the estate tax would be applied on the remainder. The tax carries a 40 percent top rate, so it is a big deal for people that are exposed.
In 2001, the exclusion was $675,000. It will be $11.7 million in 2021, and there were a number of changes along the way. The record high exclusion that we have right now is supposed to go down to $5 million adjusted for inflation in 2026.
The SECURE Act was enacted in December of 2019, and it included some very important changes to the guidelines for individual retirement accounts. If you took steps based on the parameters that were in place before its enactment, your plan may be obsolete.
These are a couple of examples, and there are other changes that have been implemented that have estate planning ramifications. This is a moving target, so you have to be poised to make adjustments on an ongoing basis.
Your Personal Path
Life is a long and winding road, and some of the changes that you go through can have estate plan implications. These can be obvious events like additions and subtractions to the family and changes in marital status.
Most people enjoy ever-increasing success over the years. If you are in this category, your existing plan may not reflect your current circumstances if it was put in place many years ago.
General Review With Fresh Eyes
You probably go to your doctor for an annual checkup even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Some type of action may be required after the test results have been reviewed, even though you had no reason to believe there was anything wrong.
The same dynamic applies to your existing estate plan. It’s hard to remember all the decisions you made many years ago. If you revisit the documents with the benefit of legal assistance, you may notice some parts of the plan that should be changed.
Access Our Estate Planning Worksheet
You reached this site because you are looking for information about important estate planning and elder law topics. There are hundreds of blog posts that you can explore, and there are other written materials that you can access free of charge.
One of them is our estate planning worksheet. This resource has been carefully prepared to help you come away with a more thorough understanding of the process, and we get great feedback from people that have gone through it.
You should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to build on your knowledge, and you can get your copy right now if you head over to our worksheet page and follow the simple instructions.
Schedule an Estate Plan Review!
As you can see, there are many good reasons to review your existing estate plan. We encourage you to use the turning of the calendar as motivation to take the appropriate action.
If you are ready to make the connection, you can set up an appointment in Oklahoma City if you call us at 405-843-6100. The number in Overland Park, Kansas is 913-385-9400, and you can fill out our contact form if you would prefer to send us a message.
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