The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has already had wide-ranging effects on businesses, personal taxes, and the economy as a whole. It also has implications for your estate planning—specifically, the law doubles the individual estate gift and GST tax exemptions. The upshot of this is that it significantly reduces the total number of individuals impacted by the estate tax.
If you haven’t reviewed and revised your estate plans in the wake of the TCJA, that’s reason enough to do so, and sooner rather than later. But tax reform isn’t the only reason to revisit your estate plans.
Why Revisit Your Estate Plan?
Here are six additional reasons:
- You’ve had children or wish to amend guardianship. Your estate planning is where you determine who takes care of your kids should you and your spouse both die. Make sure your will includes all of your children, and that you name the person you wish to serve as guardian.
- You want to change your estate plan’s administrator. Your estate plan should stipulate the person tasked with all the nitty-gritty work of settling your affairs. It’s good to periodically check in with this individual and make sure he or she is still up for the task.
- You wish to change the allocation of assets. It’s wise to periodically reassess where your assets go upon your death.
- You need to include digital assets. If your estate plan doesn’t already include online banking information, passwords, Bitcoin holdings, etc., it’s time for an update.
- You need to review your healthcare planning. What does your estate plan include by way of healthcare proxy, durable powers of attorney, etc.? Review your healthcare documentation with your estate planning attorney.
- You want to ensure tax efficiency. Legislative changes aside, it’s always a good idea to make sure your estate plans are as tax-efficient as possible.
The set-it-and-forget-it approach doesn’t work in estate planning. We recommend sitting down with your estate planning attorney roughly once each year to make sure you’re comfortable with the status quo. To speak with an attorney at Singh Law Firm, call our office today.