Originally published on fwtx.com on May 19, 2022
BY: KATHY CHRISTOFFEL, CTFA
Market President, Argent Trust-Fort Worth Market
Spring is the season when we finally tackle long-overdue projects and get reorganized across our lives. For those who already have an estate plan, spring can also be a good opportunity to adopt an attitude of rejuvenation by making needed updates.
Simply having an estate plan isn’t always enough. As changes occur in your life, such as the birth of new beneficiaries or the purchase of valuable assets, it’s wise to periodically review your estate plan to make sure it still reflects your wishes for taking care of loved ones or causes close to your heart.
If you’re in this situation and don’t know where to start, here are some tips:
1| Involve an estate planning professional
One issue to watch out for is when your estate planning documents are legally correct but contain ambiguous wording. When updating your estate plan, it’s wise to speak with an estate administration expert, who can identify potentially problematic areas (such as correct titling of property) and suggest alternative wording so that your intent is clear.
2| Build a tax and wealth management team
While an estate planning and administration expert can ensure your overall plan is properly executed, certain areas might require specialized skills from other professionals. I recommend bringing a tax expert/CPA into the conversation to make certain your estate plan has no unaddressed tax issues — which could happen if you move to another state, for instance. Similarly, a financial professional can provide valuable input on prudently managing your wealth.
3| Do regular reviews
There’s no one-size-fits-all timetable for reviewing your estate plan. However, if you’ve had a major life change or expect one, a check-up appointment with an estate planning professional is a good idea. Some examples are marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, an increase in wealth or federal tax law changes. Even legal issues or acceptance to a prestigious university might make a difference in your plan’s treatment of family members.
How Heritage can help
At Heritage, our advisors have a deep background in estate planning and are glad to assist with discussing your plan. To learn more, reach out to one of our professionals at 877-887-8899.