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Make an estate plan check-up a resolution for 2018

Happy New Year! It's time to look ahead to a new year with all of the new challenges and opportunities it brings. It's also a time to think back about the year that was and how we've changed over the last 365 days.

It's when looking back on 2017 that you may realize your life has changed quite a bit, whether for better or worse, and your estate plan should reflect that. Many people don't realize how important it is that their estate plans remain as up-to-date as possible. Making sure your estate plan reflects the current state of your assets and your wishes will reduce the possibility for ambiguity and conflict and provide ongoing peace of mind to both you and your beneficiaries.

Why you may want to change your plan

Remember, as long as you are able, you can change your estate plan. When you are thinking about what happened in 2017, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you had a child? If so, you will need to declare guardian(s) should something happen to you and the child's other parent.
  • Do you have a new grandchild? If you want to leave something specifically to that grandchild, make sure your plan reflects that.
  • Did you receive a large raise this year or change jobs? You will want to make sure this money is left to the right people at the right time.
  • Are you earning much less than when you first created your plan? You will still want to update your plan to reflect your changing financial situation.
  • Did you get divorced or remarried? Changing family dynamics will make it essential that you rethink who receives what.
  • Were you diagnosed with a serious illness? It will be important to make sure whoever you designated to serve as your health care power of attorney is still the right choice.
  • Are you worried about changing tax laws? The recent passage of tax reform by Congress could have an effect on your estate. We'll help you understand what you need to do.

Many people aren't big into making New Year's resolutions, but the beginning of a new year is always a great time to think about your estate plan. Doing a quick check-up could save you and your beneficiaries plenty of headaches in the future.

If you want to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney about updating your plan to reflect your most current wishes, we invite you to contact the Quinn Law Firm in Erie, Pennsylvania, by calling 814-806-2518 to schedule a consultation. We can help you think through whether it is the right time to make any changes.

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