Should the New Year trigger new thoughts re your estate planning?

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Out with the old, in with the new.

That adage certainly applies in January and the early months of any new year for legions of Americans focused on revising and updating select elements of their lives.

For some, the focus might be on nothing more than a renewed determination to declutter, be more assertive at work, hit the gym on most days or paint the living room.

For others, though, the need to make some adjustments spotlights the financial realm, where an estate plan executed some time back might now need a fresh look and some material changes to ensure its continued accuracy and viability.

Although the following is only a rough estimate, the financial information website MarketWatch states that most people might reasonably want to revisit their plans about every three years or whenever a major life change occurs. The latter can be anything from a family death or addition to a business sale, divorce or retirement.

Those things often change a family’s financial equation and necessitate a response. Maybe beneficiaries will need to be changed on retirement accounts and insurance policies. Perhaps new power-of-attorney, guardian or executor designations need to be newly considered. Health issues arise in many families that need to be imminently addressed.

MarketWatch additionally notes the newly enacted spike in the federal tax exemption relevant to estates, which can closely affect comparatively wealthy families. That exemption is doubled from previous years, spelling a new reality that unquestionably merits a studied planning response from a small but significant demographic.

“An estate plan should change with changing circumstances,” stresses MarketWatch. A proven estate administration attorney can work with a client to ensure that it does.

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