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Estate planning should be kept current

Estate planning can be a difficult task for many people in Georgia; as it involves dealing with complicated family issues and considering death, many people are happy to draw up the necessary documents and then file them away for the future, content that their family will be properly taken care of after their passing. However, due to changing laws as well as life changes, estate planning documents like wills and trusts can rapidly become outdated.

It can be particularly important to review and update estate planning documents, including life insurance plans, wills and trusts. When these documents go years without review, changes could happen in the meantime that impact how people want their estates to be distributed. Every person should have a will, a financial power of attorney and an advanced medical directive, and having those reviewed every 10 years by an attorney can help to ensure that they achieve the results that they desire.

For some people, the birth of new children or grandchildren could prompt a review of their estate; revisions to add new beneficiaries are one of the most frequently used reasons to change a will. Of course, in other circumstances, someone may revise their will to exclude or remove a prior beneficiary. The position of executor should also be up to date; if a deceased or unavailable person is named, the probate court will decide who to appoint as a replacement representative.

These are not the only reasons to ensure that one's estate plan is current; changes to the tax laws and estate tax exemptions can prompt new ways of handling the distribution of a person's assets. Working with an estate planning lawyer may help to ensure that documents are thorough, accurate and in line with current best practices for wills, trusts and other non-probate transfers.

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