Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

Aspects of an estate plan that need review

People in Connecticut who have estate plans might want to review those documents periodically. For example, a person who has created an estate plan with an eye to avoiding estate tax might want to review that plan since the exemption has increased.

There might need to be updates to the choices of beneficiaries or executor. The family situation might have changed, or a person might no longer want to be an executor. There should be a review of assets that are passed down by beneficiary designation such as retirement accounts. Life insurance policies should also be reviewed to make sure they are still funded and do not contain unexpected liabilities. If there is a trust, a person may have appointed a family member as a trustee, but this is a significant responsibility that might be better carried out by a professional. If the estate plan was created in another state, it may also need to be updated.

People may also want to talk to an attorney about whether the estate plan has all the necessary components. There should at least be a will and powers of attorney that appoint people to make medical and health care decisions if the principal is unable to do so. A person might also want to consider making provisions for how personal effects are distributed.

Estate planning is a task that might need to be redone a number of times throughout a person's life. For example, for younger people, the main purpose of an estate plan might be to ensure there are guardians appointed for their minor children and that any assets go into a trust for those children. Older people might have more assets and complications such as blended families to address. People might also want to keep a conversation going with family members about the contents and intent of the estate plan.

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