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More reasons to update estate planning documents

Keeping your estate plan up to date is something that we write about often on this blog. The reason for this is that almost every change you make in your life can affect your estate plan. Sure, you are probably aware that if you get married, get divorced or become a parent, you need to update your estate plan. Our Michigan readers might be interested to learn about some of the other instances in which going over your estate planning documents might be a good idea.

Changes in tax laws should prompt you to look at your estate planning documents to ensure that your estate is set up in a manner that leaves as much as possible to your loved ones. This is especially true if your estate plan includes trusts.

If your health is on a downhill slide, you should check your estate planning documents because some medical facilities will only accept health care power of attorney declarations if they are less than a year old. The same is true for financial institutions and financial powers of attorney declarations. When you update these, check the executor or trustee you have listed on your documents to ensure those are people who are still in good health and able to do the duties required of them.

Changes in your assets are another reason to update your estate plan. You can remove assets that aren't applicable and include new assets that haven't been covered.

As unpleasant as thinking of your death is, making sure that you have a current and updated estate plan is one way that you can give a small measure of peace to those you leave behind. As you update the plan, make sure you fully understand what each change entails so you can have your final wishes appropriately represented.

Source: Source: "Six reasons to take a fresh look at your estate plan," June 25, 2014

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