Creating Wills and other estate planning documents may feel a bit onerous for many people in Pennsylvania. Once an estate plan is in place, however, many people feel very good about having prepared a plan and then assume that they do not have to think about these matters again. However, the reality is that an estate plan should be considered a living set of documents. Knowing when and why to review Wills and other estate planning documents is important.
Aging Care recommends that a person make estate plan review a priority after any significant change in their personal estate value or personal life relationships. For example, if they buy or sell a piece of real estate or otherwise acquire a new asset of substantial worth, it would be important for a Will to reflect the current assets. If a person becomes widowed or divorced or gets married, he or she should also update estate planning documents. The same is true for the birth or death of any beneficiary.
Fidelity Investments adds that any life change on the part of a person’s beneficiary, executor or trustee should also necessitate an update to an estate plan. For people with guardianships established for their children, they should watch for changes in their guardians’ lives that may warrant a change in the plan.
Changes to tax laws, such as with the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, may also make it important to revisit choices made in one’s Wills or estate plan as these tax law changes may have a significant impact on the outcome of a plan.