Some people delayed estate planning until the 2017 tax law was passed because there were many potential changes that promised to impact these decisions. For estate planning purposes, the most significant part of the tax law is that it increases the amount that each person is able to pass on free of federal estate estate, with the amount raising from $5.49 million to $11.2 million. While the tax law, which is also referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will help many taxpayers avoid ever paying a federal estate tax, it is still important to engage in sufficient estate planning.

The goal of estate planning is often to make sure that you have a thorough and detailed estate plan prior to becoming incapacitated. In consideration of these recent changes to the tax law, there are some important steps that people should take to make sure that their estate plan goals are achieved. While the tax law is complicated, this article will review just some of the most important steps that a person should take.

Keep Beneficiary Designations Up to Date

Beneficiaries can be named on a variety of estate planning documents including 401Ks, IRAs, and life insurance. There are many obstacles, however, that can arise with beneficiary designations including failure to name the proper beneficiary. In some cases, the incorrect beneficiary is appointed because the estate plan creator fails to complete the proper beneficiary designation. Ensuring that beneficiary designations are properly maintained is the best way to make sure that estate plans are properly executed.

Make Sure to Address Recent Life Events

Births, deaths, and other significant life changes can cause significant shifts in your estate plans. If these or other significant events caused have your estate plans to change, it is important to make sure that your estate plans are up to date. If you have not yet met with an estate planning attorney to create documents that reflect these changes, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

Make Sure That Trusts are Properly Created

Utilizing a lawful trust as part of your estate plan helps to achieve a variety of goals. Trusts often allow a person to avoid probate, which is the process during which a court determines how assets should be distributed. To make sure that a trust is valid, however, there are various requirements that must be met.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning involves taking precautions to make sure that your estate is taken care of after your death or incapacity. Tax planning is just one of the many important parts of proper estate planning. It is still important, however, to make sure that your estate plan is properly updated to reflect both your current wishes as well as any changes in tax law. Attorney Jim A. Lyon understands how to create the best possible estate plane as well as how to take the various changes established by the new tax law into consideration when creating these plans. Speak to Attorney Lyon today for assistance with your case.