In referring to the term “occasionally” in the blog headline above, we don’t necessarily mean that you need to revisit your Arkansas estate plan every few months. In fact, the documents crafted by some individuals and couples remain on-point and valid for years.
The frequency with which a planner might reasonably want to take a close look at an already executed plan for continued accuracy and relevance will logically vary from case to case. The bottom line, though, is that virtually all plans do need periodic adjustment, which makes the “no time like the present” adage relevant in the context of estate administration.
Because things do change. Children grow up. Divorce can materially affect family dynamics. Some loved ones have special needs. Individuals designated as guardians, personal representatives and with power-of-attorney authority over important financial and health maters grow incapacitated or die.
It’s likely a good time presently to “blow the dust off” your will and other key planning documents and take a fresh look, says one attorney echoing the sentiment of many other professionals who help diverse clients promote key planning goals.
One reason might just be the recent doubling of the tax exemption relevant to estates. It is admittedly sizable (a whopping $22 million for married couples, in fact) and not something that most people are concerned with, but it can be a game changer for some high-asset individuals and families.
A more common concern is the above-cited family change that is both persistent and certain. Many inside commentators on estate planning note that it is family evolvement that has fueled the popularity of trusts in recent years. Those legal instruments can be impressively tailored and flexible in fashioning outcomes that are private and tax-effective, as well as optimal for promoting a creator’s intent.
It’s January. In a month that is typically stockpiled with resolutions, there might be a natural disinclination to slap a “peruse the estate plan” post-it on the refrigerator door.
If your estate documents are in need of some tidying up and modification, though, turning to the task now could contribute nicely to your peace of mind in 2018.