4 Things to Review in Your Estate Plan Before 2023 - Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC

4 Things to Review in Your Estate Plan Before 2023

estate plan review

It’s incredible how much life changes from year to year. The changes may seem small as they happen, but they can become massive transformations over time. This is especially true when marriages, divorces, births, and adoptions impact a family.   

That’s why reviewing your estate plan every year is especially critical. Doing so will ensure that it is current and reflects your intentions. Here are four things to review in your estate plan before 2023.

  1. Review Your Will, Including Your Personal Representative and Guardian

Your will is a critical part of your estate plan, but it’s generally not something you can set and forget. So, in addition to reviewing your will in terms of who gets what, you’ll also want to check to see whether the person you named as executor is still a suitable choice. 

People change, and relationships change. Does your personal representative still have the desire to manage your estate if you pass away? Do you still trust them to serve your best interests? 

Check guardianships too. Make sure the person you named as the guardian of your children is still the person you want for the job. 

  1. Review Trusts

If you’ve created a trust as part of your estate plan, you may need to adjust it to account for current federal exemption amounts and state inheritance tax levels.  

You will also want to review whether it is properly funded with the correct assets to serve the purposes for which you created it. 

Finally, you’ll also want to confirm with your trustees their willingness and suitability for the various duties associated with trust management. 

  1. Review Annual Gifting Strategies

Always check your annual gifting when you check your estate plan. Do the same causes matter to you now? Sometimes our views change over time. Sometimes the organizations we choose to support change. When a reason no longer feels appropriate, it’s time for an update. 

Work with your estate attorney and financial planner to examine the amounts you’re giving each year. Federal tax laws change over time, impacting the transfer tax exemption for lifetime gifts, death transfers, and generation-skipping transfers.  

As the law changes, you may need to adjust your strategies to ensure you take full advantage of exemptions. 

  1. Review Account Beneficiary Designations

You were asked to name a beneficiary when you created your 401(k), other retirement accounts, or life insurance policies. Is the person you named still the right choice? 

It’s common for a person to name their spouse or a family member as the beneficiary and then forget to change the beneficiary designation after a marriage or divorce. In that case, the wrong beneficiary designation can lead to conflict and legal action to resolve matters.  

Updating your beneficiary designation is generally very simple. It may be as easy as updating an online form or contacting your financial advisor. 

Contact Hackstaff Snow Atkinson & Griess, LLC 

To start 2023 off right by reviewing your estate plan, talk with the attorneys at Hackstaff Snow Atkinson & Griess, LLC. Our lawyers are well-versed in all estate planning matters. We know that life brings many changes, and we strive to protect your interests. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 303-534-4317 or send us a message.