Change occurs on a regular basis. The makeup of the Illinois family can change as the result of birth, death, marriage or divorce. Additionally, the financial situation that each family finds themselves in can change due to changes in income, investments, tax laws and a number of other factors. With this in mind, it is imperative that each individual also recognize the need to review his or her estate planning portfolio in order to analyze how these types of changes will impact the family and ultimate desires of the individual.
One of the first steps in the estate planning process is to create a will specifying what assets the individual owns and who should inherit these assets. However, over time, these assets can change and/or circumstances may occur that indicate the need to modify beneficiary information. For example, a change in family status due to birth, death or divorce may indicate the need to modify who should inherit. Without this modification, it is possible that unintended emotional and financial turmoil may be the result and the individual's final wishes may not be carried out.
Additionally, over time there are changes in tax laws. The estate plan is typically created in a way to minimize the tax implications to one's estate. However, if changes in tax laws are not reviewed and accounted for, there may be unexpected surprises later on.
Estate planning is an important part of taking care of one's family. By working with experienced legal counsel, the Illinois resident can do his or her part of make sure that loved ones do not have the additional burden of determining what the deceased would want. Then, through regularly reviewing this estate plan, the individual can be certain that any changes in circumstance are accounted for.