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When To Review Your Will - 11 Guidelines
A photo of someones written out will
  1. A Change In The Tax Law - Major changes in the tax law (such as occurred in 2010) can have a significant impact on your estate, and the amount of potential tax that your estate can pay (or save).
  2. Change In Family Composition - A child is born, a grandchild is born, or a spouse or other loved one dies.  These major life cycle events often require an adjustment in your estate plan.
  3. Change In Marital Status - A marriage, remarriage, or divorce (or the death of a spouse) often requires a change in the beneficiaries and an exploration of your options.
  4. A Change In Residence - Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney are state specific.  If you move into or out of New York, these should be reviewed.  This is also a good time to review Wills and Living Trusts to assure that the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are living will be applied, not where the document was drawn.
  5. A Change In Your Net Worth - Through good fortune or bad fortune your net worth can change. A formerly valid estate plan may no longer serve your needs.  While it is easier to avoid estate taxes, income tax planning is becoming more important than ever.
  6. Children Reach The Age Of Maturity - Many provisions in a “Family” Will or estate plan simply become obsolete as the children grow and mature.
  7. Retirement - Nothing is more dramatic in your life then the economic changes brought about by retirement, the change in income sources, and other events that often render your old estate plan obsolete.  Many clients consider using a Living Trust as the centerpiece of their estate plan, at this time.
  8. A Change In Health - Whether your health or a beneficiary's deteriorates, will dictate whether you may want to consider special provisions for a disabled spouse or other beneficiary.  These special circumstances require special planning.
  9. Disposition Of An Asset - If you have made a specific bequest of an asset, and then disposed of it, your estate plan should be reviewed to assure that the beneficiary who was to receive the asset is not deprived of its equivalent economic or sentimental value.
  10. Passage Of Time - The passage of time alone is reason enough to review your estate plan.  We recommend that our clients review their plans every five years, or sooner if one of the events mentioned above occurs.
  11. See Qualified Attorney - your best source of advice is a consultation with a qualified and knowledgeable attorney.
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Richard A. Kroll
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