One of the challenges that estate planning attorneys face is the fact that people are often times not anxious to create an estate plan and keep it updated. It is easy to stand on a soapbox and decry this propensity, but the fact is that it is understandable.
People live busy lives and they tend to put off things that should be done, but do not seem to be immediately pressing. Passing away is something that sits right smack on the bottom of the to-do list of most of us so it is not surprising that planning for it is often placed on the back burner.
In spite of all of the reasons why people put it off, estate planning is simply one of the responsibilities that goes along with adulthood. Life is precious, but we all pass on at some point and as soon as you have loved ones who are relying on you an estate plan becomes relevant.
Eventually most people do find the time to put an estate plan in place, but it is important to recognize the fact that the task has not been completed at that point. Your initial estate plan is going to be constructed using the facts that existed at that time, but things are constantly changing. In your own life you go through financial ups and downs, you may go through marital status changes, and the state of your health is always in flux.
There are things that take place that are outside of your own personal sphere that can impact your estate plan as well, and one of them just took place on December 17th of 2010. This was the day that new legislation was signed into law that increased the estate tax exclusion to $5 million and reduced the top rate of taxation to 35% for 2011 and 2012. So now is the time to schedule a consultation with your estate planning lawyer to discuss these positive new changes and how you can benefit from them going forward.