Seven Estate-Planning Priorities That May Change Over Time

As life carries on, our needs and priorities naturally change. We see this very clearly when it comes to estate planning. What may have started out being a couple’s top priority when creating the plan can later become much less important. For this reason, it is crucial to keep your estate plan up to date. Your plan should be tailored to prioritize the issues that are most important to you at the current time.

Addressing Changing Priorities

Modifying an estate plan to reflect a change in priorities is a key aspect of ensuring that you have an effective plan in place. Following is an overview of some of the more common priorities that clients address in their estate plans:

  1. Making sure that children are taken care of by appointing a guardian. This is always an item of the utmost importance for families with young kids.
  2. Planning for disability or incapacitation. If you have reason to suspect that you are at an increased risk of this occurring, it is important to plan properly to ensure that your affairs can be managed efficiently.
  3. Reducing estate, gift, income, and other forms of taxes. Families with a moderate to high net worth may wish to create an estate plan that can help minimize the impact of these taxes.
  4. Ensuring the efficient transfer of a small business interest. Without proper planning, a business could grind to a halt in the event of a death or disability.
  5. Ensuring that assets pass to the intended parties. For example, real estate in Anaheim can be left to a specific relative or friend. Without a carefully executed estate plan, assets may pass to others.
  6. Avoiding the cost and hassle of a probate administration. Some families recognize that planning to avoid probate can be very beneficial to their loved ones. Probate is often a lengthy, cumbersome, and expensive process.
  7. Making sure that wishes are clear when it comes to end-of-life care. This is especially important for individuals who have specific viewpoints on items such as feeding tubes and life support.

While all of these priorities are valid and important, your estate plan will naturally tend to cater to some points more than others. Over time, the items that you prioritize the most will naturally change.

Are you looking for an experienced attorney to help you update your estate plan? We invite you to view our client testimonials page to learn more about how we can help your family.