If you have a will or estate plan, when is the last time you reviewed it? If you can’t remember, or if it has been more than two years, it’s time. While reviewing your will may not be pleasant, it is vitally important that your wishes are upheld, and that your loved ones receive exactly what you want them to have.
Reasons Why Your Will May Need Updating
Tax law and life changes influence the need to update your will, including:
- Moving to a new state. States’ tax exemption amounts can vary significantly.
- Your will was created before 2001. Since then, the amount you can leave to your heirs without being taxed has increased. In 2001 the amount was $675,000; as of 2022, it’s more than $12 million. Read more about what’s new with estate and gift taxes here.
- Changing the decision-makers. Perhaps you’d like to update who you currently have listed as executor, power of attorney, and/or beneficiary.
- Relationship and family changes. If you’ve gotten married, divorced, are in a committed relationship, or if your children are now adults, this needs to be reflected appropriately.
- You’ve sold your house and bought another. An address update will likely be necessary.
- Your charity relationships have changed. You may have found yourself highly involved with a charity that you would like to leave money to. Or you may no longer want to leave money to a charity you had outlined previously.
This list is not exhaustive. There are many different reasons why your will or estate plan may need updating. No matter your situation, if your will needs changing, you should act quickly. Your will or estate plan should accurately reflect your personal wishes and family changes, and you should look to avoid being taxed where it is unnecessary.
Where to Start When Updating Your Will or Estate Plan
First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to tackle this project yourself or hire expert help. While there are resources online you can use to update your will, tread carefully. For sites such as LegalZoom, the Estate Plan Bundle only allows updates within a year of purchase. Without any legal knowledge, you may create a document that does not properly meet your needs (or your family’s). If you have more complex family dynamics or an estate valued above the state and/or federal tax exemptions, it is likely best to hire an attorney.
It’s not secret that hiring an attorney will cost more than the online resources that are available. However, you can rest assured knowing that someone knowledgeable in estate planning and federal and state tax exemptions is handling your financials and your family’s future. An experienced attorney can also help ensure that your heirs save money, and a headache.
Will & Estate Planning Services in Statesboro, Springfield, & Swainsboro Georgia
Hall & Navarro provides peace of mind for families through will & estate planning services. Our attorneys can walk you through the process step by step to ensure all your wishes are outlined carefully and are fulfilled properly. Don’t leave your family with an obstacle course of issues during an already difficult time. Contact us today to get started updating your will or estate plan.