Estimates say that approximately half of all older adults do not have a will. However, for those who do have a will, it might not be good enough to write it and not keep it updated throughout the years. There are several reasons why it may be a good idea to go over a will or trust regularly and make changes as necessary.
Anyone who has not updated his or her power of attorney in the past year may wish to do so because tax and other laws may have changed. Due to this, anyone who has been granted power of attorney more than a year prior may find that the position is not recognized. It may also be a good idea for an individual to update his or her will or trust in the event that high-value assets have accumulated since the will or trust was first written. In fact, it may be worthwhile to create a trust in which to put assets if a will is no longer sufficient.
Older individuals may want to revise their estate plans to include children or other younger people as the trustees or executors. This will help ensure that the last wishes of a person or a married couple are executed. If no one is listed as a trustee, it is important to let family members know where applicable documents are located to make it easier to have assets distributed.
Proper estate planning is a continuous process, and pertinent documents should be revised or updated as circumstances warrant. By talking to an estate planning attorney, it may be possible to create a clear estate plan to be executed upon a person's death, possibly reducing the chances of a lawsuit or other challenge to the plan.
Source: Explorer News, "Six reasons to take a fresh look at your estate plan", June 25, 2014