Estate planning laws can be somewhat deceptive. It is not often that state legislatures make major changes to their laws of wills and trusts. It makes it seem like estate planning is timeless. Therefore, a will written years ago is still a good will for the current estate laws.
That may in fact be true. However, whether an estate plan is a good one depends on other laws that change more often, as the Dunwoody Crier points out in “Estate Planning 2018.”
Estate planning is extremely sensitive to tax laws and regulations that frequently change. When an estate planning attorney helps a client create a plan, the attorney drafts a plan that is the best possible to accomplish the client’s goals under the current laws. However, when the laws change, it often means that previous estate planning is no longer the best way to do things.
Sometimes, an older way of doing things can be penalized by current laws.
What that means for estate planning, is that your will is a time sensitive document. When it was written, it was prepared under the assumption that you would pass away before the laws changed. If you signed it a couple of weeks ago, that’s not a problem. However, if you created your current will a decade or more ago, it is likely that the laws have changed significantly. Therefore you need to consult your estate planning attorney and have a new will drafted.
Reference: Dunwoody Crier (March 27, 2018) “Estate Planning 2018.”