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Why your carefully crafted estate plan requires periodic scrutiny

If you recently finished a good-faith spurt of proactivity by finalizing an estate plan that you know is comprehensive and makes great sense for your family, congratulations. You’re likely feeling a bit buoyed. With the help of a seasoned estate administration attorney, you’ve addressed and taken responsive actions concerning a number of key planning considerations.

A writer we referenced in a recent blog post duly notes the multiple concerns that feature in most estate plans in Arkansas and elsewhere. We noted in our Robertson, Oswalt & Associates December 27 entry financial author/editor Bob Carlson’s observation that “many estate plans respond to key family goals across a truly wide spectrum of concerns.”

It is precisely that broad applicability that Carlson and other commentators stress makes periodic revision of virtually any plan an imperative.

Here’s why: things change. And that is especially true concerning something as organic and unique as a family. The outcomes that planners set forth in relevant legal documents today (e.g., wills, trusts, medical and financial powers of attorney, health care directives and so forth) are only relevant so long as their addressed subject matter remains static.

And nothing remains forever immutable concerning families. Carlson recommends revisiting an estate plan as a default exercise about every three years or so. More frequent looks and adjustments might be rendered necessary by state and/or federal legal changes addressing taxes and other matters impacting estates.

And, of course, action should be considered “when specific events occur in your life.” One might logically think of things like remarriage, divorce, family births and deaths, material changes in family assets and so forth.

Effective estate administration truly is a two-step process entailing both plan creation and occasional adjustment as time goes by. Seasoned attorneys at an established estate planning law firm can help individual and family planners stay on track and ensure that their estate documents are fully up to date and responsive.

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