Offered by Dolan & Associates, P.C.
Estate planning in the past often focused on helping you avoid death taxation which can now cost your family 40 cents of every dollar. Significant changes were made to the tax code at the beginning of 2013 that changed the landscape regarding how people plan their estates.
Estate plans prepared prior to the beginning of 2013 contained instructions to avoid death taxation. In order to protect families from death taxes, the plan had to sacrifice some income tax advantages you gain by dying. If you have not updated your estate plan since the end of 2012, to adjust for this changing tax environment, that old plan could now substantially increase the income tax liability your family faces after your death.
Many families have failed to recognize how these ongoing changes in the legal environment can significantly affect their estate plans. Most attorneys do not inform their clients of needed changes after the sale of the original documents. And why would they? They are hoping to get paid to clean up the mess after you die.
In a constantly changing legal environment, maintaining your estate plan is a critical element to its success. If your estate plan is going to produce the result you actually expect, you need to have an ongoing relationship with your attorney that allows you to effectively maintain your plan. This is the only way to protect your plan’s effectiveness from being eroded by both legal and personal changes. The documents don’t magically change in your safe deposit box. To produce the results you expect, they need to be updated regularly.
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