A properly structured estate plan can make it easier to manage your Illinois assets both now and in the future. However, it’s not enough to simply execute plan documents and forget about them. Instead, you will need to review them at least once per year to ensure that they meet your needs. It may also be a good idea to review an estate plan after a major life event.
What qualifies as a significant event in your life?
As a general rule, any occurrence that could require significant changes to your estate plan should be considered a major life event. For instance, getting married will likely require you to add your spouse as the beneficiary to a 401(k), life insurance policy or other assets. After a child is born, you will likely want to add that son or daughter to your will or trust.
Have tax laws changed recently?
Ideally, you will review a will, trust or other plan documents if changes are made to the tax code. When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed in 2017, it caused the federal estate tax exemption to increase significantly. This may have made it unnecessary to maintain a trust for the sole purpose of minimizing an estate tax bill.
In 2025, the exemption is scheduled to revert back closer to where it was before the law was enacted. Therefore, you should review your plan then to ensure that it still meets your needs. An estate planning attorney can assist in the process of reviewing, editing or adding any documents that make it easier to accomplish your goals.
Reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis may be an effective way to ensure that your affairs are settled in a timely manner after you pass away. It can also be an effective way to ensure that your assets are properly managed during your lifetime.