An audit of your estate plan should be at the top of your list for an annual activity to ensure that you have considered all major changes in state and federal law as well as any adjustments in your life that might call upon you to update your documentation.
An audit of your estate plan requires that you have a good handle on what you want to accomplish with your plan and the documents to back those plans up. While you certainly hope you don’t need many of the documents in your plan anytime soon, they can make things much easier for your appointed agents, your loved ones, or even you should something unexpected happen.
You may find the need to update overall strategy, estate planning documents such as a will or a revocable trust, or documentation for accounts that pass on outside of probate system such as beneficiary designation forms with your life insurance policy. Auditing these on an annual basis will give you a roadmap for potential changes you’ll need to make. The process for approaching these changes includes:
- Generating a new plan based on your objectives.
- Consulting with the estate planning professional or financial professional needed to execute your plan.
- Updating any amendments to your will and any other documents that need to match.
- Verifying that your beneficiary designations are updated and assets have been titled properly.
- Review that you have properly funded all trusts and don’t need to make any adaptations to them.
- Consult with your attorney regarding the drafting of any amendments or necessary documents to accomplish previous or current goals.
- Set aside time to review and modify your plan on an annual basis.
Questions about the estate planning process? Consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer to get answers to your questions. At our Pasadena estate planning office, we support clients in reviewing and creating estate plans aligned with their personal goals.