The Importance of Keeping Your Will and Trust Up-to-Date

Creating a comprehensive estate plan takes a lot of time and effort, and once it’s complete, you’ll feel a tremendous weight lifted from your shoulders. Securing your legacy is a huge accomplishment, but just like you, your estate plan needs room for growth. Life is full of unexpected changes, and it’s easy to forget to keep your estate plan up to date in accordance with your wishes. In this post, we’ll cover a few reasons why it’s so important to update your estate plan on a regular basis.

Growing Family

Family is an essential part of estate planning, but they’re probably not thinking about how their actions impact your estate. Family dynamics are constantly changing. From the birth of a child to a divorce or death, all of these instances can require an update to your estate. You may want to believe that your family will understand the oversight, but it’s possible that it can cause hurt or confusion, and in the worst of cases, a legal dispute. It may be a challenge to keep track of a large family, but you put in all the work to build it. If a new family member is born, you may want to make sure you include them as a beneficiary. 

Financial Ups and Downs

Like family, finances also sometimes have an unpredictable streak. This can be both good and bad. Financial situations can change significantly over time. An old investment can finally pay off, you could have purchased your dream car, or maybe an accident or illness took a toll on your retirement fund. Any change to your finances should be reflected in your estate plan. Your estate plan is designed to distribute your assets after your passing, so it’s important to make sure that everything is accounted for and your loved ones will be protected from potential liabilities.

Tax & Estate Law

Federal and state tax laws are not only changing all the time, they’re guaranteed. Keeping up with inheritance and estate tax laws is important for your estate plan. A change in tax law can impact how much of the estate is subject to taxes or impact the regulations surrounding trusts. You may need to update your trust to ensure that it complies with the new laws and limit the tax burden for your beneficiaries. 

Changing Values

Although your fundamental values aren’t likely to change all that much, it’s still possible that you find a sense of wisdom and peace in a new experience. This can include a new personal philosophy, religion, or political movement that may impact the way you want your wishes to be carried out. These deeply personal changes may impact who you name as an executor, or what you wish to do with your remains. 

All of this effort is essential for both you and the people you care about. You have worked hard your whole life and care about what happens to your assets after your passing. Outdated estate plans can leave room for ambiguity and create a rift for your loved ones. They may not know how to proceed, which could cause costly disputes. Updating and maintaining your estate plan regularly is the best way to ensure that your wishes are met and the people you care about are protected. If you would like assistance reviewing your estate plan, or starting from scratch, our team is here to help. For a consultation, call (503) 928-8664 today.

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White Oak Wills & Trusts, LLC

At White Oak Wills, we believe that everyone deserves a high-quality estate plan that will meet their unique needs. Our team has years of experience working with families to create personalized plans that take into account their goals and concerns for the future. Whether you need a simple will or a comprehensive plan that includes powers of attorney, guardianships, and trusts, our team can help you develop a plan that aligns with your goals and ensures that your loved ones will be well taken care of.

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