Estate Planning Made Easy: What You Need to Know for a Current and Effective Plan

by | Jan 8, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is an ongoing journey, not a one-time task.

Remember when you finally finished creating your Will with your attorney? It was a huge task, and it probably felt like a significant achievement. However, if you stashed it away and haven’t given it a thought since then, it’s probably time to update your Will.

Out-of-date estate plans can lead to serious problems. We get calls EVERY DAY from people whose Wills or estate plans are 10 or 20 years old — A LOT can change in 20 years!

That’s why it’s so important to update your Will at least every three to five years (sometimes more often as laws or circumstances change). Taking the time to update your Will can ensure your legacy gets passed on according to your wishes and eliminate family disputes upon death. If you need to know whether your Will needs to be updated, it’s best to follow the 3 L’s of estate planning.

Use the 3 L’s of Effective Estate Planning to Update Your Will

Don’t get caught with an out-of-date estate plan. Keep the 3 L’s of estate planning in mind to ensure your plan is current. Upon examination, most changes an estate plan may face can be summed up by three things: life, law, and learning.

1. Life

What has changed in your family, health status, job status, or finances since your last Will was created? Have you purchased property or a business? Have you sold a business or property? Have you bought a new car, boat, or art? A lot can happen in 3 to 5 years, especially as we age.

A great example would be divorce or remarriage within the family. These events can impact family members emotionally and can restructure family dynamics. A timely update to your Will can help you avoid family conflict and lengthy court time for your loved ones after you pass away. Life changes warrant an updated Will. (When it comes to life changes, don’t forget your beneficiary designations on things like life insurance!)

2. Law

What legal or tax changes have occurred in federal or state law since your Will was drafted? Have your federal tax laws changed? Have your inheritance or death tax laws changed? These are all questions to consider as your Will ages. Changes in federal or state law can directly impact your Will. Changes in the law warrant an update to your plan.

3. Learning

What have you learned about your family and how they handle money since your last Will? You may have learned that your beneficiaries mishandle their own money and tend to overspend. Or maybe a key person for your plan got a big promotion at work and seems too busy to do things like be an executor anymore.

What legal strategies do estate planning attorneys have now that may not have been available or common when you did your last Will? Learning new things can warrant needing to update your Will or Trust.

Secure Your Legacy: Act Now to Update Your Will or Estate Plan

If it has been some time since you last thought about your Will, it’s time to consider an update. Life happens, laws change, and the most effective estate plans continue to evolve.

Don’t let an outdated Will compromise the legacy you’ve worked hard to build. Act now to protect your future and that of your loved ones.

We invite you to join us at one of our complimentary educational workshops, which many people find very helpful. These sessions offer valuable insights into the basics of effective estate planning and are an ideal opportunity for you to gain clarity and confidence about what you may need in a personalized plan.

After attending a workshop and getting to know whether our firm is a good fit, the next step is scheduling an Initial Meeting with our experienced team.

Read about What to Expect at Your Initial Meeting here>>

At Edwards Group, we’re dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of estate planning. Our Dynasty Program is specifically designed to assist our clients in keeping their plans relevant and robust, adapting seamlessly as your life evolves.

Take advantage of this chance to take control of your estate planning journey. Contact us today at 217-726-9200 or via email to RSVP for an upcoming workshop or to book your Initial Meeting. Let us help you secure your legacy and provide peace of mind for the future.