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Tax Law Changes Should Prompt Estate Plan Reviews

There have been recent changes to tax laws that create the need for married couples to review their wills, especially provisions intended for tax planning purposes. Here are three major changes that create a need for a reread.

When is the last time you reviewed your estate plan?

Professionally prepared estate plans are normally crafted for the tax laws that existed at the time the plans are created. This makes sense as no one can predict what changes will be made to the laws in the future. However, it also means that when there are changes to the tax laws changes also must be made to estate plans.

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently wrote about the latest tax changes that should make married couples revisit their estate plans in "Recent Changes That Create Need For Married Couples to Update Wills."

The changes include:

  • Estate Tax Exemption - The estate tax exemption has been raised meaning that more of the estate is protected. This could make some estate plans obsolete.
  • Portability - It is now possible to take advantage of a spouse's unused portion of the exemption, which makes some trusts obsolete.
  • Income Taxes - Rising tax rates might make some estate plan provisions undesirable.

If you and your spouse created an estate plan under the old tax laws, now is a very good time to consult an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your plan is revised accordingly.

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