Critter Corner: Update Your Estate Planning Documents Now!

Dear Magic,

My husband and I came to Evan’s office to do our estate planning several years ago. We have had some family changes since then, such as our children got married and had children of their own. With all this happening and with the new tax plan going into affect, does our estate planning need to be updated?


Estee Taplan


Dear Estee,

It’s a wise idea to get your estate planning and incapacity planning documents reviewed at least every 3-5 years (although for your Power of Attorney, Evan generally recommends it be re-signed every year since many banks won’t accept a POA that’s more than a year old). Similarly, the older an Advance Medical Directive is, the less likely it is that it will be honored by a doctor or hospital. With the tax laws that went into effect this year, it is especially important to have your legal and financial situation reviewed as soon as possible.

According to CNBC MarketWatch, now is an ideal time to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Evan, to make sure you’re coming up with a plan to get the most important tax advantages. This article provides reasons why you should get your estate plan updated in light of the new tax plan, and some questions you should ask your estate planning attorney regarding gifting and other important tax-related topics.

Here are some additional times you should get your estate planning documents reviewed. Based on what you said, it sounds like the time for making updates, in your situation, is now! Updates are typically made when:

• Your spouse dies or becomes incapacitated;
• You become ill or disabled;
• You get married or divorced;
• You have a new child;
• Your child marries or divorces;
• Your child becomes ill or disabled or dies;
• You have a new grandchild;
• One of your beneficiaries develops a drug or alcohol problem;
• The value of your assets has significantly increased or decreased;
• You acquire property in a different state;
• You move to a different state;
• You retire or change employment;
• One of your beneficiaries shows signs of being financially irresponsible;
• There have been changes in the law that may affect the language of your documents.

The reason for updating your planning documents during these life changes is that it’s the only way to ensure that your estate plan truly reflects who you are, what you care about, and what you have.

Call us and be sure to ask about The Farr Law Firm’s Lifetime Protection Program, which ensures that your documents are properly reviewed and updated as needed, so that they will always have the proper effect under the law.

Hop this is helpful,


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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