A little over three weeks remain in 2022. Thanksgiving comes and goes and the next thing you know, it’s time to hang the mistletoe. It is very common to reflect on the year, more specifically what transpired and how you and your family have grown, and make goals to accomplish in the new year. Many will come to find that a lot of life was lived during the year 2022 and that the life lived may have affected your estate plan. If you have an estate plan, changes may be in order. If you don’t have an estate plan, you may be inspired to create one. As you reflect on your past year, keep the following things in mind.
1. Big life changes.
During the year of 2022, did you get married? Did you get divorced? Did you have a child? Did your child become an adult? Significant changes in your life such as these should cause you to consider your estate plan. If you have an estate plan in place, pull it out to review and make a list of the changes you wish to make. If you don’t have an estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney to help you get started.
2. Change in family makeup
If your family looks a bit different ending the year due the loss of someone special, you have our deepest sympathies. It is a good idea to ensure your estate plan is updated to reflect any changes.
3. Asset changes
Asset changes should also trigger an estate plan review. Did you purchase a new home or car? Did you change residency to a new state? Did you receive an inheritance this year? An outdated plan does not serve you in the long run.
Did you make any substantial gifts in 2022? If so, it may be a taxable or reportable event. Inspect your giving over the past year, including those to charities, and report your findings to your trusted tax professional.
As an individual moves through their path in life, their perspective changes and so does their definition of legacy. Whether its ensuring support for family or making charitable gifts, an individual’s idea of their legacy should inform the overarching goals of their estate plan. Make sure your estate plan fits your legacy.