Do you already have a comprehensive estate plan in place? If so, you are in a better position than the majority of adults in the United States. That does not, however, mean you should get complacent. On the contrary, the success of your estate plan will depend not only on the plan existing, but on the plan being current and up to date as well. If you have not updated your plan recently, now is the perfect time for updating your estate plan.
A well drafted an implemented estate plan provides protection for you and your assets while you are alive and provides for your loved ones upon your death. Creating an estate plan, however, is only the first step in ensuring that you and your family are protected. Reviewing and updating your plan is an equally important second step. In fact, and out of date estate plan is often just as harmful as not having a plan at all. With that in mind, the end of the year is a great time to conduct a regular review of your estate plan for a variety of reasons.
Like most people, you likely review your overall financial situation during the last month of each year as a matter of course. In preparation for tax season, most people look for last minute deductions and credits that can be applied or taken prior to the end of the tax year. In only makes sense to review your estate plan at the same time as your assets and overall finances are directly tied to your estate plan as well. For example, have you taken full advantage of the annual exclusion to gift and estate taxes? The exclusion allows each taxpayer to gift up to $14,000 in assets to an unlimited number of beneficiaries each year tax-free. Moreover, gifts made using the annual exclusion do not count toward your lifetime exemption limit for gift and estate taxes.
An in-depth review of your estate plan should be conducted every three to five years while you are in your working years; however, the end of the year is a good time each year to take a brief look at your plan to make sure that your plan is current and is not in need of any immediate changes.
If you have not conducted a thorough review of your estate plan in several years it is time to do so now. Contact the experienced South Carolina estate planning attorneys at Kuhn & Kuhn Law Firm by calling 843-577-3700 to schedule your appointment.