Use This Snow Day to the Utmost and Review Your Estate Plan

Another snowy day. I can hardly believe it. Days like this, when school is canceled and I work from home seem to last forever. But in truth, I know how quickly time can fly by. Many people remind me how quickly my toddler will turn into a teenager. So how can we use the time we have to the utmost?

Many of the people I talk to are retirees. They often have great stories of how they did or wish they spent their time. Some retirees choose to remain at home. Others choose to begin a second career or pursue that secret ambition of the heart that they were always putting off or travel the world in a way they were never able to do before. Each of their plans is personal and proper estate planning has made the difference in whether they can achieve it.

For example, since the enactment of the ATRA (American Taxpayer Relief Act) in 2013, the vast majority of taxpayers feel comfortable regarding the nonpayment of a Federal Estate Tax upon death since there is an increased and predictable exemption amount of $5.25 million per person. For those who die during 2014, the amount is increased to $5.34 million per person. This does not mean estate plans is irrelevant. Instead, these laws coupled with our own personal situation is the reason we all need a qualified estate-planning attorney to review estate plan every three to five years and when major changes occur.

Major life changes, such as the death of a family member, an increase or decrease in wealth, change in domicile, change in a marital status, change in the age of your children, a disability or a chronic illness will affect your estate plan. Yet, less than half of all Americans have an estate plan.

Use this dreary snow day to create, review and plan with a professional.