Many people believe that “Estate Planning” is only necessary for tax purposes. Nothing could be further than the truth. Estate planning is in fact a complex process, bringing together elements of the law, taxes and life.
As no two families have the same set of facts, each Estate Plan is prepared specifically for each family. Estate planning is not static. It is a dynamic process as life progresses due to changes in law, life issues and financial issues. As a result, Estate plans must be reviewed periodically to ensure these elements have not changed the intent of the estate plan.
To this end, it is advised that individuals update their estate plan on a regular basis. A review does not necessarily mean a change. It just a process to confirm the existing Estate Plan still meets a family’s needs. Failure to review an Estate Plan may produce results that are in opposition to an individual’s actual intent.
How often estate plans are changed depends upon individual circumstance. A review is in order at least every four years (think in the year of a Presidential election) or when certain Trigger events occur. These events include marriage, birth, adoption, inheritance, illness, divorce, buying or selling a business or property, retirement and death involving any member of a family.