If you sit down to discuss estate planning with your folks and they say they already have a plan, it is usually a big relief. Maybe you can avoid this sensitive topic with your parents after all. But what do you really know about their plan?
Estate plans need to be reviewed and updated from time to time to ensure they remain effective. Life and the law change frequently, and your parents should ensure that their plan stays aligned with such changes.
Changes in state laws
Estate law is constantly under review and revision in all American states. Even when law changes are minor, they could make some estate planning provisions obsolete. Changing state law is one of the most critical reasons to consider a plan review.
Changes in estate tax laws
Estate tax laws also undergo a near-constant evolution. Estate plan reviews ensure that the estate your parents leave behind does not incur preventable tax burdens. It also helps ensure the plan has sufficient methods of addressing possible estate tax liabilities.
Changes in their heirs and beneficiaries
Periodic estate plan reviews help your parents remember to adjust their heir and beneficiary designations to reflect their current wishes. For example, if a child or someone else named in the will dies, the plan needs a review and an update. In another example, if a new grandchild arrives, your parents probably want to modify their estate plan to include the new baby.
It can be hard to talk with your parents about end-of-life issues. Most people discover that it isn’t as uncomfortable as they expected it to be. Familiarizing yourself with Colorado estate planning laws ahead of your discussion may help you feel more at ease broaching these topics.