So, you had your Living Trust prepared a few years ago. Bravo! You're already a lot further ahead than majority of other people in your same shoes.
However, a big mistake people make when they've had a Living Trust prepared for them is that they have a tendency to think that it's a "one-and-done" type of plan. Like most things in this life, your Living Trust requires some maintenance to ensure that it works the way it was intended to when the time comes.
Here are five reasons that you may need to have your Living Trust reviewed.
Reason #1: Assets May Not Be Titled Correctly.
When was the last time that you looked at a list of all of your assets and made sure that they were all properly titled? If all of your assets are not properly titled, you and your family could suffer through expensive and lengthy court proceedings when you pass. Or, worse yet, you might have to go through that process while you're living, if you were to become disabled. Have you purchased or acquired properties since you had your Living Trust prepared? If so, you need to make sure that those properties, along with all of your other assets, are properly titled into your Trust. For many people, the whole point of setting up a Living Trust to begin with was to save their family from having to go to court, so it is important that you have this reviewed to ensure that your Living Trust works correctly.
Reason #2: Your Beneficiaries May Be Incorrect on Your Bank Accounts, Annuities, Life Insurance Policies, Retirement Plans and IRAs.
When was the last time you checked your beneficiaries? Has your relationship with any of your beneficiaries changed since you created your Living Trust? Have any loved ones passed away? Have any gone through divorces or bankruptcy? Depending on all of these circumstances, it is important that you check your beneficiaries so you can make sure that your assets go to the right people and don't wind up in the wrong hands!
Reason #3: Your Appointed Successor Trustee May Not Be the Right Fit.
Your Successor Trustee is the person that you chose to step in and act if you should become disabled or pass away. However, you may not have the same kind of relationship with your appointed Successor Trustee or they may have demonstrated that they are not as capable of handling money or responsibility as you once thought. You will want to review who is appointed as your Successor Trustee to make sure that you have someone that is responsible and able to handle all of the necessary duties required as Successor Trustee when the time comes.
Reason #4: Important Laws that May Affect Your Plan Might Have Changed.
There are a number of laws pertaining to estate taxes and medical privacy that have changed in recent years. Depending on when you had your Living Trust drafted (or updated), your plan may not properly address all of these law changes. This can potentially result in a lot of needless paperwork, stress, legal fees and even taxes.
Reason #5: New Estate Planning Techniques May Be Available.
As with most things in life, over the years, estate planning techniques continue to evolve over time. Think about it. Does your car now have the same features it had 10, 20, or 30 years ago? Of course not! There may be a number of new estate planning techniques available that weren't available (or weren't appropriate for you) at the time you had your Living Trust prepared. A qualified attorney can review your existing estate plan and determine whether or not some of the new estate planning techniques may be a good fit for you.
If you are already a client of the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc., don't forget that you are entitled to a review of your estate plan every 3 years by one of our attorneys. This meeting is FREE of charge and without obligation as a benefit of being a client of our law firm. To schedule a review meeting with an attorney, call our office at 1-800-756-5596. If you'd like to attend our next Review Trust Seminar, which is for existing Kavesh, Minor & Otis clients who may wish to hear about updates and then schedule their meeting at the conclusion of the seminar, click here.
If you are not already a client of the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc., we welcome you to attend any one of our upcoming educational seminars. These seminars are absolutely free. Through this seminar, you will learn more about the estate planning process and you will learn more about our law firm, including what services we have to offer and our prices. At the conclusion of the seminar, you will be offered a free consultation with an attorney. To view the upcoming seminar schedule, click here.
If you are unable to attend an upcoming seminar, please feel free to join our e-mail list and we will be sure to e-mail you of future seminar dates.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc., servicing the estate planning needs of those in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas of Southern California for over 35 years. We recommend attending one of our free seminars, where you can book a free attorney consultation and even qualify to receive a fee discount. You can contact us at 1-800-756-5596 for more information. We'd also love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.