If you already have estate plans, then you are a step ahead of most people. Making plans for your estate ahead of time, especially if you have a large estate, is a smart choice. While it is never too early to make plans, you may need to update those plans if you have a long stretch of time after you make them and before you need them. Here is how to tell when it is the best time to update estate plans.
When You Are Healthy
The best time to make changes to your estate plan is when you are healthy and fully competent. Estates can change quickly over time, so waiting a long time before making updates can lead to issues, depending on how your estate plans are developed.
One of the biggest problems that you can face in estate planning is waiting until you are sick or otherwise incapacitated to make changes. By then, you may not be able to do so easily or at all.
In some cases, especially when mental illnesses like dementia are involved, you may need to turn over your legal processes to a representative, and making changes yourself opens up your estate plans to challenges based on your mental health and condition at the time.
Before your health comes into question and possibly stops you from doing so, update your estate plans.
When Your Estate Plans Have Substantial Changes
Any time your estate has substantial changes, you should update your estate plans. For example, buying a new piece of property is a perfect time to update your plans to make it clear what to do with it when you are gone.
Depending on how your estate plans are set up, you may not need to make a change. For example, an estate that specifies that all of the real estate be sold and the profits divided amongst the beneficiaries means that buying or selling real estate won’t change the outcome.
However, buying a piece of property that you want to go to someone specific means that you need to update your plans so that the property isn’t sold according to your outdated plans.
Cash is another good example of this. If your estate divides up your liquid assets by percentages for each beneficiary, then any amount of money won’t change the outcome.
However, you may want to consider updating it if you come into a sizeable amount of money just to be sure or if you acquire other liquid assets that need special precautions, like stocks and bonds. In some cases, drastically increasing the amount of money in your estate may mean that you should change your plans to create a trust or other investment vehicle for the beneficiaries so that they don’t have a major tax burden because of it.
Contact a Chicago Estate Planning Attorney Today
Estate planning is an important part of preparing for the future. Make plans for your estate with the help of a qualified Chicago estate planning attorney. Contact James C. Provenza & Associates, P.C. at (847) 729-3939 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.