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Regular Estate Plan Checkups

In order to be sure that your estate plan remains current and effective to maximize your wishes, you should have your estate plan reviewed by an attorney or other estate planning professional periodically to assure that it still meets your needs. You should also understand that the designations on your life insurance, retirement accounts, pension plans, bank accounts and other such assets can have a very significant impact on the probate of your estate.  In other words, there is more to your estate plan than the will that goes through the probate process.  The action that you take (or fail to take) on your “non probate” assets can dramatically impact your estate plan, since your will typically will not control the disposition of your non probate assets.

At a minimum, you should have your estate plan reviewed and updated upon the occurrence of any of the following events:

1. The marriage, divorce, illness or incapacity of you or of any member of your immediate family.

2. The death of any member of your immediate family.

3. A significant change in your financial condition (positive or negative).

4. You move to another state or country.

5. The receipt of a large gift or inheritance.

6. You acquire property which requires special consideration and handling.

7. You change your mind about how to dispose of your property and/or who you want as your representatives.

8.  If there is a significant change in the tax laws which may effect your estate.

Cowles & Thompson