If you are one of the 1/3 of Americans with an estate plan, you know that it is an important aspect of securing your financial future and ensuring that your loved ones handle your assets and properties according to your wishes.
In Texas, an estate plan can include various elements such as wills, trusts and beneficiary designations. Periodically reviewing and updating this plan is necessary to ensure that it stays aligned with your current situation and needs. Knowing what to look for during a review of your estate plan will help you make sure that everything remains in order and continues to reflect your intentions.
Verify the accuracy of personal information
It is important to ensure that all personal information, such as names, addresses and contact details, is accurate and up to date. This includes information for beneficiaries, executors and guardians. Any mistakes or outdated information can lead to unnecessary complications later on.
Review your will and trust documents
Your will and any trust documents are central to your estate plan. During a review, you should ensure that they accurately represent your current wishes. Look for changes in relationships or financial circumstances that may necessitate updates to these documents.
Examine beneficiary designations
Beneficiary designations on financial accounts, life insurance policies and other assets must be consistent with your overall estate plan. If you have had changes in your family structure or relationships, make sure to update these designations accordingly.
Assess your power of attorney
A power of attorney allows someone to act on your behalf in financial or healthcare matters if you become unable to do so. You should make sure that the person you have designated is still willing and able to take on this responsibility and that their information is current.
Consider changes in tax laws
Tax laws can change, and these changes might affect your estate plan. Make sure to understand the current laws as they apply to your situation, and adjust your estate planning documents if necessary to comply with the new regulations.
Evaluate the liquidity of your estate
Having enough liquid assets to cover expenses such as debts and taxes is important. You might need to adjust your estate plan to ensure sufficient funds are available without having to sell assets quickly, potentially at a loss.
Reviewing your Texas estate plan is an ongoing process that requires careful attention to detail. By examining the critical aspects outlined above, you can maintain an estate plan that accurately reflects your wishes and adapts to the changes in your life. Regularly checking and updating your plan helps avoid future difficulties and ensures that your loved ones will handle your estate as you desire.