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When is it important for me to update my estate plan?

For many New Yorkers, the creation of an estate plan is viewed as final with no changes necessary. Some might have taken a significant amount of time before finally crafting an estate plan to prepare for the future, but when they did they were fully prepared to leave it as is. However, major problems can arise if the document is not updated when changes to a person's life happen. Even with the most comprehensive strategies for estate planning are frequently insufficient because of a failure to update. There are several reasons why it is important to update an estate plan and having legal advice when doing so is critical.

While a will a trust or other estate planning device is meant to prepare for the testator's death, others who are named in the document might die first. Failing to change a will can leave a new spouse, children who were born after the document was completed and others facing problems because of this oversight. Tax implications are often ignored. With each new presidential administration, there will undoubtedly be changes to how estates are taxed. For those who have a large estate, creating an estate plan based on the tax laws at the time is wise. But when a new administration comes into the picture and changes the law, this must be addressed in the estate plan to avoid heirs being stuck with a large bill.

Life changes are inevitable. If, for example, a person creates an estate plan and names a spouse as one of the main beneficiaries and the marriage ends in divorce, it is vital to change the document. This is especially true if the testator remarries. Other factors that can arise are the need for long-term care, preparing a power of attorney, an advance directive, caring for special needs children and more. The idea behind an estate plan is to achieve the goals of the testator. When there are minor children, naming a guardian is a wise protective device. Trusts can have certain requirements for the individuals to access the funds. Knowing the potential problems that can arise with failure to update an estate plan can avoid them.

Creating an estate plan is only one part of the process to protect loved ones. Ensuring that it is properly updated to address all foreseeable eventualities can prevent common problems that arise for people who have not taken this important step. Contacting a law firm that has experience in estate planning is helpful when creating the estate plan and when keeping it current.

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  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

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