During 2015, Estate Planning and Elder Law Services has been busy contacting our estate planning clients to offer a free 20-30 minute review of their estate plans. If you are one of our clients and have not received a phone call, you should be receiving one by the end of the year. If you are not one of our clients, but would like such a review, we would be happy to speak with you for the same 20-30 minutes. Free Consultation Form.
After this year, we will be offering a similar review once every 3 years on a rotating basis to our clients as a way of keeping up with life and asset changes.
Many, many people create an estate plan, stick it in a drawer, and say "Mission Accomplished." That plan goes unreviewed for many years. And one day it is needed. But the family often finds out that it is out of date with current laws, and may in fact not accomplish what the client wanted. A periodic review is the best way to keep your plan current.
Estate planning changes fall into four broad categories: life events, changes in asset structure, federal tax law changes, and state legal changes affecting probate and trust law.
You can read generally on our website about Michigan Estate Planning Basics.
Life Event changes during a year to you or your family's circumstances can be the most important changes. Consider the following scenarios:
Changes in asset structure also occur on an ongoing basis. For instance, have you ever:
We find that clients routinely engage in these sorts of financial changes in the course of the year. Sometimes, the way in which these changes are made affects their estate plans in ways they do not anticipate.
Changes in federal tax laws do not necessarily happen every year, but almost certainly every few years. The publicity is typically about the increases in assets that can pass free of federal estate taxation. Clients are lulled into complacency when they are below that threshold. However, consider some of these issues having nothing to do with Federal Estate Tax:
You can read generally on our website about Tax Planning.
Changes in state laws on wills and trusts may not occur every year but, when they occur, they might affect how your estate is handled. For instance, here are some changes that have occurred over the last few years:
We have just listed over 20 situations, any one of which call for a review of your estate plan. Many of these will most certainly occur within any given 3 year period — which is why we are providing our clients with a Tri-Annual Estate Review. We are confident you will find this helpful as your relationships go forward with us.
The goal of your estate plan is simple: provide for your protection and that of your family; to address your and their needs and wants in a practical, affordable plan. That is our goal too. You shouldn't have to navigate this unfamiliar and emotional territory alone. That is why Estate Planning and Elder Law Services of Northville and Brighton, Michigan can be your trusted partner.