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There are a number of reasons people might need to update an estate plan. One of those reasons is if the person has created an estate plan with the intention of avoiding estate tax. The estate tax exemption has increased significantly, and the provisions made might no longer be necessary. Another reason is if the estate plan was created in another state and the person then moved to Ohio.

As part of that review, people should make sure the estate plan includes the needed components. There should be documents that allow people to make medical and financial decisions in case of a person’s incapacity as well as a will. If the will does not deal with personal effects, a person might want to add this as a codicil since families may argue over these items otherwise. There may need to be a change in the executor. A person who has a trust and who has appointed a loved one as a trustee might want to reconsider. This can be a big responsibility and include a lot of work, and in some cases, a trust company, a bank or another professional could be a better choice.

People should also review beneficiary designations and life insurance policies. They might want to change the beneficiaries, or the life insurance policy might have lapsed.

Births, deaths, marriages and divorces in the family might all be reasons to update the estate plan. A person might want to place assets for a beneficiary in a trust to protect those assets against creditors or in a divorce. A trust might also protect assets if a beneficiary is likely to spend irresponsibly by specifying when distributions are made or giving this power to a trustee.