Ohio residents who have an estate plan should review the documents regularly. In going over a will or a trust, they should take into account whether changes in tax law might affect the estate plan. Changes in assets or in the family could mean a change is needed as well. People should also consider whether their choices for executor and trustees are still appropriate.
Beneficiary designations should be reviewed. For example, if a person has divorced, the ex-spouse may need to be replaced on these forms. Beneficiary designations override a will or trust. People should also make sure that their trusts are funded and that they are using the correct estate tax domicile if they are in the process of moving or if they spend time in two different places. Property should be titled appropriately. People may want to change which spouse’s name is on a given asset or make property that is a joint tenancy into a tenancy in common.
Investments and insurance policies are also important aspects of an estate plan. People should review how their investments are performing and if they wish to leave them as they are or make changes. They should also consider insurance policies in view of any changes in assets or liabilities.
People may hesitate to create an estate plan initially or to review that plan regularly because it is a topic they do not like to think about. However, having a solid estate plan means that loved ones will not have to make difficult decisions after a person’s death. A person may want to talk to an attorney about how trusts might be used in the estate plan. These versatile vehicles can help protect assets from creditors or irresponsible loved ones, benefit a charitable organization or reduce estate taxes.