How often should I update my estate planning? I have a pad answer on that is is that whenever you’re circumstances change or the law changes. I suggest that once you do your estate planning, that you put it someplace where you look at it approximately once a year just to look to see if that’s still what you want. Whether there’s been some change or circumstance such as losing a loved one or beneficiary that you’ve named in your will. You may want to make some changes far as that’s concerned.
Certainly if you have… You’re married and you lose your spouse, it is very important to come in and do your estate planning. Look at your estate planning to revise or to simplify your estate plan. With estate plans, folks usually want to know two things from the very beginning. One is are there any estate taxes, which unless you have a lot of money, there aren’t any estate taxes. If your estates less than five million dollars and that’s as far as the federal governments concern. The state of Florida’s done away with estate taxes so you have… You don’t have any estate taxes in Florida or with the federal government. However, if you have estate property outside the state of Florida, then there may be estate tax whatever state that that property is situated in.
The other issue is trying to avoid probate, which is really a… Something you can do particularly if you’re married on how to title your assets to try and avoid going through probate. Some circumstances if you’re by yourself then a trust is appropriate or if you’re married possibly 2 trusts are in order. However, most simple estates can be handled without that, but that’s another objective.
Also we need to, or I try to, keep my clients up to date as the changes in the law and the other estate planning documents beside will and a trust are your living will, which says that you don’t want your life to be prolonged unofficially or a healthcare power of attorney called a healthcare surrogate designation. That was changed just recently in the last couple of years and so I would suggest that you might wanna to contact your attorney or call me to see about getting your healthcare surrogate updated to comply with the new law. Not that the old one wouldn’t work, but this new one would be… Works a lot better.
Also your power of attorney form and that law changed three or four years ago and its been enhanced. The power of attorney would be a good idea to review and to update it and that you can have some other called superpowers. One of the things that just passed in legislature where you might want to update all your estate planning documents is your digital assets. When you pass away, you may have something of value such as owning domains, any sort of an accounts, but if you don’t… If your personal representative doesn’t have your passwords and then Google and these other folks, they’re not gonna give you access or give anybody access unless you have specific authority to be able to access their accounts. That act has just passed and so all your estate planning documents need to be revised to include the authority to access your digital assets. We saw that problem with the FBI trying to get into a cellphone and the Google, or whoever it was, would not let them in. You know because of privacy.
This has been addressed in legislation however, you do need to put that specific power in your estate planning documents. Give me a call if you’d like to update your estate planning documents and I’ll be happy to help you. My phone numbers 727-847-2288.