J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Estate planning should include making modifications

There are many reasons why Winter Haven residents prepare estate plans. Estate plans provide instructions for the distribution of one's assets after one's death and can also help provide financial support for friends and family members who the decedent desires to recognize after his death. Estate plans can help individuals preserve their wealth from burdensome taxes and can help streamline the administration process for wrapping up a decedent's estate.

There are also many reasons why individuals with estate plans should consider updating their testamentary documents at certain periods of their lifetimes. For many people, creating an estate plan is the first step. As a person's life changes, however, he or she may need to revisit that plan to ensure that it reflects his or her wants and needs.

For example, a person may leave his wealth to his or her spouse through various testamentary documents. Over time, though, many things could disrupt the relationship between that individual and his or her significant other. The marriage could end in divorce, or one's spouse could predecease him or her. In addition, an individual could remarry, and any of these events would justify a review of the individual's estate plan to establish any changes that should be made.

Additionally, just as relationships can change, so too can estate planning laws. When a person creates his or her estate plan it may work with existing laws. If changes to those laws make an individual's plan unworkable or financially irresponsible, that individual could benefit from making modifications to accommodate any new laws.

There are many other reasons that a person should review his or her estate plan. Births, deaths and other major life events can throw a carefully planned estate into turmoil. To begin the estate plan review process, readers can visit with their estate planning attorneys to consider beneficial changes to make to their testamentary documents.

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