Insight

Review your estate plan in the midst of a major life shock

Generally, it’s recommended that you review your estate plan at year’s end. It’s a good time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that affect your plan.

However, with a life shock as monumental as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, now is a good time to review your estate planning documents to ensure that they’re up to date — especially if you haven’t reviewed them in a number of years.

When revisions might be needed

The following list isn’t all-inclusive by any means, but it can give you a good idea of when estate plan revisions may be needed:

  • Your marriage, divorce or remarriage,
  • The birth or adoption of a child, grandchild or great-grandchild,
  • The death of a spouse or another family member,
  • The illness or disability of you, your spouse or another family member,
  • A child or grandchild reaching the age of majority,
  • Sizable changes in the value of assets you own,
  • The sale or purchase of a principal residence or second home,
  • Your retirement or retirement of your spouse,
  • Receipt of a large gift or inheritance, and
  • Sizable changes in the value of assets you own.

It’s also important to review your estate plan when there’ve been changes in federal or state income tax or estate tax laws.

Will and powers of attorney

As part of your estate plan review, closely examine your will, powers of attorney and health care directives.

If you have minor children, your will should designate a guardian to care for them should you die prematurely, as well as make certain other provisions, such as creating trusts to benefit your children until they reach the age of majority, or perhaps even longer.

A durable power of attorney authorizes someone to handle your financial affairs if you’re disabled or otherwise unable to act. Likewise, a medical durable power of attorney authorizes someone to handle your medical decision making if you’re disabled or unable to act. The powers of attorney expire upon your death.

Typically, these powers of attorney are coordinated with a living will and other health care directives. A living will spells out your wishes concerning life-sustaining measures in the event of a terminal illness. It says what measures should be used, withheld or withdrawn.

Changes in your family or your personal circumstances might cause you to want to change beneficiaries, guardians or power-of-attorney agents you’ve previously named.

Find calm in the middle of a storm

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many people’s thoughts are turning to their families. Updating and revising your estate plan today can provide you peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of in the future. We can help you determine if any revisions are needed.

© 2020

Related Insights

Watch out for “income in respect of a decedent” issues when receiving an inheritance - tax accountant in washington dc - weyrich, cronin and sorra

Estate & Wealth Transfer Planning

Watch out for “income in respect of a decedent” issues when receiving an inheritance

Most people are genuinely appreciative of inheritances, and who wouldn’t enjoy some unexpected money? But in some cases, it may turn out to…
Nonprofits don’t lose as much to fraud, but risk requires action - accounting firm in bel air md - weyrich, cronin, and sorra

Non-Profits

Nonprofits don’t lose as much to fraud, but risk requires action

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE’s) Occupational Fraud 2024: A Report to the Nations, not-for-profits suffer…
Taxes when you sell an appreciated vacation home - cpa in elkton md - weyrich, cronin, and sorra

Tax Prep, Planning & Strategy

Taxes when you sell an appreciated vacation home

Vacation homes in upscale areas may be worth way more than owners paid for them. That’s great, but what about taxes? Here are three scenarios…

Connect with us

Use the form below to send us an email. WCS responds directly to all inquiries and general questions within 24 hours of posting.

This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.