Devising an estate plan might not be as challenging as some assume. Investing the right amount of time and effort could lead to creating a comprehensive estate plan that is legal under New Jersey law. The various documents may remain legal years after initially written, but are they appropriate? Circumstances might change even when statutes stay the same. Consider it worthwhile to review an estate plan periodically and make any necessary changes.
Changing an estate plan
What works out well one year might not be suitable when times and circumstances change. A parent might choose to leave all of their brokerage funds to a sole heir, a grown child. However, the parent could come into considerable wealth through inheritance, and the child might begin to display irresponsible behavior. Perhaps the parent may choose to tear up a will and set up a trust to prevent the adult child from squandering the inheritance.
Life could experience significant changes and upheavals, and reviewing an estate plan to address them might avoid problems. The arrival of new children or grandchildren, unexpected business successes or failures, tax considerations, and even declining health could prompt estate planning changes.
A wide range of estate document changes
Does an estate plan include only a last will and testament? Estate planners might wish to consider drawing up power of attorney documents or a health care proxy. As the years pass and people grow older, they might wish to dedicate financial and health care authority to others.
Even if the documents exist, changes to the proxy or agent might be necessary. Not revoking an ex-spouse’s power of attorney could prove disastrous.