When Florida residents think about the future, they may assume that everything will be taken care of if they have a will or estate plan. However, it can be important to regularly review estate documents in order to ensure that they reflect legal and personal developments that could affect distribution. In general, estate plans that are three or more years old should be reviewed to determine if changes are necessary. However, personal events like marriage, divorce or the birth of a child can also spark a review.
Changes in tax law can be an important impetus to go over an estate plan and potentially revise a will. If the exemption limit for inheritance taxes changes, it could inspire estate owners to make changes. Even if the laws remain the same, however, there are a number of personal choices that can affect the way that people choose to distribute their property. Because estate law is handled at a state level in most cases, moving from one state to another can prompt a review of wills, powers of attorney and related documents.
If an estate owner gains or loses a significant amount of money, they may want to review their plan. One may want to change the division of their property or add other provisions, depending on the status of their finances. In other cases, an estate owner may sell off or purchase a significant asset like a home, and their will may need an update to acknowledge that change.
Making an estate plan is an important step toward ensuring that loved ones will be cared for in the future. Once that plan is in place, an estate planning lawyer can still be important to review existing documents or draft new additions, including trusts or powers of attorney.