I RECOMMEND THAT YOU REVIEW YOUR LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT PERIODICALLY
There are many reasons that it is a good idea to review your Will every few years.
In the first instance, you will want to make sure that you continue to have confidence in your named Executor’s and Trustee’s abilities to perform as you expect. Have they gotten a little forgetful, or do they seem to be thinking differently than you on too many issues?
You might want to revisit the terms of any Trust to make certain that the restrictions placed upon the beneficiaries are still prudent, or consider if more stringent restrictions should be provided for. For example, do you really need a Trust for the children to continue to age 35, or have they shown sufficient maturity now that they are 25 years old?
Tax laws change too and these changes may have a significant impact upon what you can give away and how you do so without any significant tax consequences or conversely, what previously was not of concern from a tax prospective may now be. The federal lifetime gift exemption for US citizens has increased this year to $5,340,000.00. The New York state estate tax exemption for US citizens will increase in increments over the next few years, ultimately reaching $5,250,000.00 in 2018 per individual and indexed per inflation. You must be mindful of the tax implications of your estate planning; there are many ways that a properly prepared Will and Trust can maximize those you love receiving the monies that you want them to receive.
In short, it takes little effort to make sure that your Will and Trust can still accomplish your goals. Feel free to give us a call for a basic consultation and explore whether or not you should consider updating your Will and Trust. Finally, please remember, that you should not write on your Will, or remove the staples for any reason.