When was the last time you thought about your estate plan? Was your newest grandchild born? When your son finally completed his divorce? After the death of a parent? Life throws so much at us that it can be easy to lose track of things. Even something as important as your estate plan.
We know it takes a significant amount of time and effort to prepare your estate plan. Once the documents are complete, however, your job is not finished. It is critical for you to review your estate plan, at least annually, because as your life changes so do your needs. Further, laws can change over time that can impact the planning goals that you have for yourself and your loved ones.
Strategies may change depending on circumstances. You may be richer or you may be poorer. One asset in your portfolio may have increased significantly, but what happened to everything else? If there are significant changes in value or in the circumstances surrounding your beneficiaries, you may decide you want to make changes to who inherits from you in the future.
What happens to your estate planning, however, if you or a loved one get sick or faces significant long-term care challenges? Alzheimer’s Disease or stroke related dementia may not presently be concerns but any estate plan needs to be updated to be flexible enough to deal with these types of catastrophic events. In fact, there are special types of trust that can be used to diminish the impact of these issues and their impact on your loved ones. For example, a special needs trust could be used in situations like these. In this example, as well as in this type of planning, the funding of the special needs trust gives the trustee the ability to pay for nursing and rehabilitative services that are not paid for by the federal or state government.
Fortunately, not all situations are this drastic but there are so many options available to use in planning and so many variables at play that it is a necessity to revisit your estate plan on an annual basis. We would love to answer your questions about your estate plan, discuss any changes you have, and help with any planning that might be needed in the New Year. Do not wait to contact us to schedule a meeting with attorney Anne’ Desormier-Cartwright.