There’s never a bad time to review an estate plan

An estate plan can help to ensure that your Maryland children are taken care of after you die. It can also be used to ensure that a spouse has a place to live if you die before he or she does. Finally, a plan can be structured so that someone can manage your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.

Were there significant changes to tax or estate planning laws?

Changes to the tax code could reduce the effectiveness of a trust or other components of your current plan. For instance, after the federal estate tax exemption increased to $11.48 million per person, fewer people needed to put assets in trusts to minimize their tax bills. Recent changes to the federal tax code may also have an impact on how you account for an IRA or 401(k) within your estate plan.

Have you experienced a major life event?

It’s always a good idea to review your estate plan after receiving an inheritance, welcoming a child into the world or getting divorced. This is because you will likely need to update a prenuptial agreement, add that child to your will or remove a spouse as the beneficiary of a 401(k).

Schedule a review at least once a year

Even if nothing has changed in the past 12 months, it is a good idea to look over plan documents at least once each calendar year. Your estate planning attorney should take part in the review.

Keeping an eye on your estate plan can help to ensure that it meets your needs while you’re alive. It can also minimize the risk of a legal challenge after you pass away.

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