The years really fly by. I can’t tell you how many times some one has come in to meet with me who signed a Will 25 years before and never updated it. When major changes occur in your life, it’s important to see your lawyer for a “check up” to make sure that your old Plan is still a good Plan for you. Here are samples of situations I have encountered, which required an updated Last Will and Testament and updated beneficiary designations on assets such as life insurance or tax-deferred accounts:
- Grandchild has severe disabilities, will be unable to support himself, and depends on programs that require Medicaid eligibility. An outright inheritance could be disastrous.
- Child has acquired substantial debt or is in the midst of a divorce.
- Beneficiary turns out to be a major spendthrift and should have somebody controlling and managing his inheritance.
- You no longer have a relationship with the people you listed as your Executors.
- Your designated Executor or Trustee has passed away.
- You want to guarantee that certain charitable bequests will be made.
- You want to leave money to your grandchildren as “something special,” even though the rest of your estate will go to your children (their parents).
- You have a Will from the 1990’s that left the “credit shelter amount” locked up in a trust for your surviving spouse to minimize estate tax in the estate of the 2nd spouse to die, yet now, there is no NJ estate tax and no federal estate tax for almost everyone
- You left a beneficiary’s share in a Trust under your Will, but now she is older and fully capable of managing her own assets.
- Your spouse is going into a nursing home and you want to limit the amount s/he inherits if you pass away first.
- You got married, gave birth or adopted a child, or you want to leave some assets to your step-children.
Whatever has changed, family estate planning should be an ongoing process throughout your life, starting at age 18 and moving on from there.
Call us to set up a plan that works for you …… 732-382-6070