You did your estate plan some time ago and it includes a revocable trust to avoid probate and provide for management of your estate if you become incapacitated. Depending upon your plan, your trust may accomplish one or more of the following goals as well:
- Reduction or elimination of estate taxes.
- Management of your estate for your children while they are young.
- Providing that your estate passes to your grandchildren if any of your children doesn’t survive you.
- Protecting what you pass to your children from lawsuit, bankruptcy, divorce or poor decisionmaking.
- Preservation of a child or grandchild’s public benefits if they have a disability.
That’s what estate planning is all about.
However, your trust may be out-of-date if any of the following has occurred:
- Your successor trustee is no longer the most appropriate person to fill this role.
- The estate tax provisions of the trust no longer work or are no longer necessary in light of federal and state tax law changes.
- A child is having marital or financial difficulties.
- A child is ill, has become disabled or has passed away.
- You got married or divorced.
- The trust doesn’t contain the necessary provisions to accept IRA or retirement plan funds.
Some of these factors you will know for yourself. Others can only be determined by an experienced estate planning attorney. If you have a revocable trust that is more than a few years old, it makes sense to have it reviewed by the drafting attorney or another experienced estate planning attorney.