Routine Checkups to your Estate Planning

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq.

Congratulations! You have taken the first step in planning for your future by preparing your estate planning. Now comes the question, down the road, does your estate planning need to be revised, updated or checked up on? Read below to find out the different reasons why you may want to consider having routine checkups to your estate planning.

Life changes may impact your Florida estate plan such as the addition of a new family member. This change may affect mothers, fathers, grandparents and even extended family members who leave some sort of inheritance and future right to their loved ones. It is essential to ensure that your estate plan is up to date and addresses your new family member to ensure a new family member is not excluded from inheritance rights, guardianship provisions, or medical planning. It is highly recommended to always update your estate planning documents, to specifically name new family members to protect the distribution rights, and prevent any question as to the intent of your estate plan.

An unexpected life change that may occur is the passing of a spouse or family member, a marriage or even a divorce. It may be necessary to update your estate plan to either appoint a new executor, representative, beneficiary or make some other change related to the decedent or significant other. If your marriage occurred after the estate planning or a beneficiary has passed away since the execution of your estate planning, the terms will not automatically update and that inheritance right may not be properly addressed. Similarly, if you obtain a divorce after you have an estate planning in place, the estate planning may be incomplete and require an update.

Legal changes occur without you being aware or familiar of the change, therefore, it is always recommended to check up on your estate planning every so often to ensure it does not affect the terms in any way. There are constant changes and implementations in our law that may affect your estate planning. For example, the Florida legislature recently created legislation allowing Florida notaries to accommodate virtual signings by video conference and also to clarify the nature of the relationship between the notary and person executing. Another recent change is that the portability of the marital deduction is now permanent; therefore, a surviving spouse may utilize a deceased spouse’s federal estate tax exemption, even if the estate planning did not specifically provide for this allowance.

Lastly, your estate planning documents are yours for your life and may need to be changed based on your change in needs or wants. Keep in mind estate planning documents are intended to further your desires. Thus, it is normal to revise or make changes to these documents on numerous occasions during your lifetime.

If you have any questions or concerns related to your current estate plan please feel free to contact the Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A., at 305-227-4030 or legal@raygarcialaw.com for a free consultation.