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When estate plans should be reviewed

Many people in Georgia recognize how important it is to plan for the future. That's why they're careful to create wills and other key estate documents. However, as time passes, it can become particularly important to review existing estate plans to make sure they reflect current laws and the creator's current wishes. Many experts advise that if an estate plan is three or more years old, it is time for it to be reviewed.

In addition to these timely reviews, there are other times when it can be important to go over an estate plan. If the creator moves to another state, a review can be necessary. Because estates go through probate under state law, it is important to ensure that the documents reflect the law of that current state. States may vary about mandatory shares for spouses, inheritance taxes or even the witnesses required for a valid will. Establishing proof of the move can also be important, especially if someone moves from a state with high estate taxes to one that imposes no local penalty. Without changing legal residence, the old tax rate would still apply.

Marriage, divorce, childbirth and other major events are all reasons for an estate review. Revisions can make sure that children are included in the will or revoke a power of attorney that had previously been granted to a now-former spouse. If a beneficiary or executor named in the estate plan passes away, it can be a reminder to revise key documents.

Whether someone is looking to create an estate plan for the first time or review a more complex list of documents, an estate planning lawyer can provide valuable guidance. Legal counsel could draft key documents or execute critical revisions.

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