Last night I spoke at the Lutheran Health Care Center in Worcester. One attendee asked, “How often should I review my current estate plan?” It is very important to review your family’s financial and estate plan at least every 3-5 years. The general rule is that the older you are, the more frequent your reviews should be.
Another way to determine when you should schedule a review is when you or your family is/will be experiencing a major life event. Some examples of major life events include:
- Marriage (yourself or your child)
- Divorce (yourself or your child)
- Birth of a child or grandchild
- Death of a spouse or child
- Change jobs with significant increase or decrease in income
- Purchase new/additional real estate
- You move to another state or country
- Start, close, or sell a business
- Major Illness or disability of self, spouse, or child
- Life Insurance/annuities
- Wanting to make major gifts to friends, family, and/or charity
- Major change in tax law
So, how are you supposed to keep track of “major changes in tax law?” Don’t worry. That’s where I come in. Every time there is a major change in a tax or estate planning law thay may effect your estate plan, I’ll send a letter out to you informing you of the change and suggest an estate plan review. Additionally, you’ll receive a similar letter if I haven’t sat down with you in the last five years.
As more major life events, how can I keep track of when ALL my clients have a baby, get divorced, change jobs, retire, etc. I’d love to, however, simply put, I can’t. That’s where you come in. Always remember to keep your estate planning and elder law attorney informed when major life events occur. That way I can determine if a review is necessary for your particular situation.