An estate plan generally requires several revisions throughout a testator’s lifetime. When buying a new property, for example, your will or trust needs updating so that it describes how you would like it handled in the future. Without adding a newly acquired asset to your documents, it may not pass on to its intended heir.
It is not uncommon for Florida residents to create a will or trust and then set it aside. Doing so, however, could prove costly. As reported by Kiplinger magazine, changes to tax laws and regulations may require a revision to prevent troublesome issues from developing in the future. An increase in the value of your financial assets may otherwise turn out to be an expensive tax liability for your heirs.
Beneficiaries may change as the result of a marriage, divorce or an unexpected death. You may wish to revise your documents and designate another individual to receive or care for your property. When an estate plan does not contain a named individual who remains alive, the courts may distribute your property and assets through the Sunshine State’s default probate method.
It is not unusual for heirs to discover a decades-old document that no longer reflects the goals its creator now hopes to accomplish. You may wish to avoid leaving outdated information about your assets accessible to your heirs. Updating your documents and explaining your estate planning intentions could help prevent conflicts between feuding beneficiaries.
If your heirs expected to receive certain properties, which you later sold, creating an updated document can more accurately reflect your true intentions. The text of a revised will or trust may help grieving family members to better navigate a potentially upsetting emotional process.