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Why estate plans should be audited

Estate planning is an important process for adults of all ages, but it is not a one-and-done effort. Estate plans should evolve over time as life circumstances change and new needs arise. It is appropriate for an adult to carefully audit his or her plans and documents from time to time to see what changes and updates could be important. A guiding principle during this process is to determine objectives and ensure the plans help accomplish those things.

Depending on one’s individual objectives, it is possible to tailor plans to save on taxes either now or in the future, provide for loved ones, give to charitable organizations and more. It is also possible to set aside money for children who will need care and support into adulthood, plan for potential medical needs and protect assets from creditors. These objectives typically change after major events such as the birth of a child, a death in the family, a divorce or remarriage.

Any review of an estate plan should take a careful look at what plans should be in place in case the estate owner is incapacitated at some point in the future. There are documents that allow one to plan for specific types of medical care he or she may need, as well as name someone to act on behalf of the incapacitated individual. There are also documents that will allow for the appointment of  a designated individual to make important financial decisions in specified circumstances.

Estate plans allow a Louisiana adult to control certain matters and protect loved ones. Whether it’s drafting documents or updating them, an estate planning attorney can provide insight into what steps are necessary. A lawyer can also audit an existing plan and explain how changes could be prudent.