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Life Changes, And So Will Your Estate Plan

Five years ago, some residents of Fairfax City County may have been at low point in their lives. Possibly a divorce or an economic struggle hit their families. Today, however, things could be great. They might be happily remarried with a new baby on the way and a job that makes them smile on a day-to-day basis. Good and bad changes happen throughout every person's life, and as life changes, an estate plan should change as well.

Large estates are affected considerably by tax changes. These changes happen from one year to the next and are often drastic. As these changes will affect large estates the most, it is crucial to review the large estate each year to ensure that everything is up to date and in accordance with the executor's wishes.

Smaller estates are not affected by tax changes as much as large estates. Therefore, estate plans involving smaller estates should be updated every five years. Although taxes may not have a large affect, personal changes are certain to happen. These changes can radically alter an individual's intent for an estate plan.

Several other changes should trigger a review of an estate plan, including:

  • Estate valuation changes
  • Change in employment or family
  • Business interest changes
  • Death of someone involved in the estate plan
  • Insurance changes
  • Change due to major transaction or the plan itself

This list is not conclusive, but it gives some guidance as to when a review is necessary. When individuals are unsure whether or not to review their plans, professional guidance may be necessary.

Source: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., "Conducting a Periodic Review of Your Estate Plan"

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Surovell Isaacs Petersen & Levy PLC

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