Legal $ense Monthly

January 2016
6 Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan

With the start of a new year we all begin to feel refreshed, start our resolutions, to do lists, and plan to get organized! It is also the perfect time to reflect on the past year and review your estate plan if you had any life events that would require an update. Here are six of the top reasons you should consider updating your estate plan:
  1. You moved to another state. Have an elder law attorney in your new location review your documents to ensure they comply with the laws in your new state.
  2. You've had a change in marital status. A marriage or divorce will require significant changes to your estate plan. If a newly wed there may be estate tax planning opportunities available. Conversely, you may want to ensure your former spouse is removed as a beneficiary or fiduciary.
  3. There is a change in your financial status. If you receive an inheritance, accumulate wealth over time, win the lottery, or receive a settlement award, then you will need to evaluate whether your estate is now taxable and to explore options for minimizing these taxes.
  4. Your family has grown. If you have added to your family, either children or grandchildren, you may wish to update your estate plan to name a guardian or protect funds for your minor children, or change beneficiaries.
  5. A family member has become disabled. If you have become responsible for the care of a disabled person, whether a child with special needs or elderly parent who becomes incapacitated, you may wish to take the extra steps to provide for this loved one's care.
  6. Your beneficiaries or fiduciaries have life changing events. If your children are no longer minors, you may want to update your documents or change their roles as fiduciaries in your documents. Or if a beneficiary or fiduciary predeceases you, moves away, or you simply have loss touch, you will need to reevaluate your plan.
Barring any major life changes, we recommend you review your estate planning documents every three to five years to ensure that your wishes will be carried out and that there have been no changes in the law that might affect your plan.


At Elder Law Solutions we concentrate our practice in estate, long-term care and special needs planning. We are located on the North Shore and have a strong commitment to client service.  If you have questions about these or other legal matters, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail by clicking here or by calling us at (978) 465- 5407.  

Elder Law Solutions
Margot G. Birke, Esq.                                        www.elderlaw-solutions.com
One Harris Street                                              info@elderlaw-solutions.com
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 465- 5407