The Top 7 Reasons You May Need to Update Your Estate Planning in 2020


There are many things to do when a new year arrives. Making resolutions, setting goals, and deciding what you really want for the next year is just a part of it. You may make these decisions alone or with loved ones or friends, but the key is to get them done.

Should your New Year’s Resolutions, however, include your goals for your estate planning legacy or your elder law needs? In our office, we believe they should. In fact, we are sharing this with our friends, clients, advisors, and loved ones right now. Let us give you, as you read our blog, just a few of the reasons why you would want to update your estate planning this year.

1. There have been significant life changes in your family structure. Most of us will leave a significant amount of our estate to our loved ones. If there have been births, or deaths, these need to be reflected in your estate plan.

2. Relationship statuses have changed. If there have been divorces or remarriages in the intervening years since you created your estate plan, you may need an update. Remember, you do not want to be in a position where you need to rely on a decision-maker who is unable or unwilling to act for you under any potential circumstances.

3. You’ve changed your mind. There is never anything wrong with changing your mind. As long as you have capacity in the state of Florida, you can change your mind on who your decision makers should be and who should inherit from you. Do not wait to talk to your estate planning attorney about these changes.

4. You need more backups. Did you know that in your estate planning documents you can add more than one person to make decisions under your planning? For example, you could have a primary, secondary, and tertiary decision-maker. If your plan does not have this capability right now, you may want to think about changing it in the new year.

5. You are planning to enter into retirement or have already entered it. Retirement can change the structure of your income, as well as your assets. Do not wait to make sure that your estate planning and your elder law planning reflect these changes and you are protected for the years to come.

6. There are significant changes to your health or that of a loved one. If you have received a new health diagnosis that may anticipate a future that involves long-term care planning, or you have a loved one with a disability, there is never a wrong time to update your estate plan to reflect it. If you do not, unfortunately, your estate plan may not be able to achieve your goals or help your loved ones at a critical time in the future.

7. A significant amount of time has passed since you created your estate plan. Many of us think that we do not need to update our estate plan frequently. This is a misconception. The laws can change, as well as our own personal needs. Remember, there’s never a wrong time to check in with your estate planning attorney to ensure that you have the protections that you need both now and in the future.

These are just a few of the reasons why we would encourage you to think about your estate planning this New Year. Does it reflect what you need? Does it need substantial revisions or changes? Do you even know what it says right now? We encourage you to get your questions answered and not to wait to contact us to schedule a meeting with attorney Amy McGarry now, or anytime this year.

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