Thompson Law Group, P.C.

Estate planning needs regular updating to suit a person's needs

Pennsylvanians who are vigilant enough to take the necessary steps to having a sound estate plan might be under the impression that once the document is completed, they never need to look at it again. Unavoidable life changes - positive and negative - can make this a terrible mistake. When estate planning, it is wise to view the document as something that must adapt as time passes and lives change. Having an idea as to when trusts, a will or other documents that people use to handle their estates need to be adjusted is imperative.

For many, it is a useful strategy to examine the estate plan on specific days such as a birthday and make the necessary adjustments. Those who are seeking a comprehensive and up to date estate plan should take stock of life events that have happened in the previous year. If, for example, there was the birth of a child or grandchild, a marriage, an increase or a decline in assets and other events, changing the document accordingly is a smart decision.

Financial accounts should be assessed annually. Those who are set to be eligible for Social Security should periodically review their accounts to keep track of their benefits and where they stand. If there is a 401k plan, retirement accounts and investments, knowing how these are affected by market changes or other factors can be vital to any estate plan. Creating an estate plan is a protective device for the testator and his or her family. dAs time passes, there might be goals or ideas in place to raise the amount the person has in the portfolio. Saving or even spending can be a part of the process. Keeping track of the financial situation is integral to the estate plan remaining effective.

When an estate plan is created, people who think that there is nothing left to do often leave their loved ones with unanticipated problems because the testator failed to update the plan as needed. A legal professional can give advice on how to ensure that an estate plan is organized so the testator can pass assets to heirs, care for infirm loved ones, donate to charity and have the type of estate plan that they wanted when they first formulated the document.

Source:, "The 3 Financial Planning Items You Should Review Every Birthday," Megan Gorman, April 29, 2018

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