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Canton Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer > Blog > Estate Planning > A New Year Is a Good Time to Check Your Estate Plan

A New Year Is a Good Time to Check Your Estate Plan


Once the work and time is put into developing a comprehensive estate plan, one may feel confident in the final outcome and the estate planning tools that were used to protect their wealth. It is often recommended to regularly check one’s estate plan or review it when certain life events happen to make sure it is up to date. Usually, when there are no big life events or significant changes in one’s finances, reviewing one’s estate planning documents should be done every five years.

The reality, though, is that less than half of the country even has a basic plan in place, and for those who do, many are outdated. Both of these situations are not ideal. That is why, when one year ends and another begins, it can be a good time to take a look at one’s estate planning documents to make sure they are accurate for one’s circumstances. Or, if an estate plan doesn’t exist, there is no better time than the start of a new year to get to work on one.

For assistance with estate planning in Connecticut, you may reach out to a Canton estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Brian S. Karpe.

Why the New Year is a Good Time to Check Your Estate Plan 

Many things can change in a year. New babies may be born, jobs can change, or divorce can end a marriage. When these things happen, an estate plan should be revised to account for the life changes that have happened.

However, if one’s situation has remained fairly stable, it can be easy to forget to look at an estate plan to make sure it still works for one’s circumstances. For example, let’s say that you created an estate plan when you had children. Now that they are grown and maybe out on their own, that initial estate plan is likely insufficient, and your considerations may be much different. This is why when the new year starts, checking an estate plan may be advantageous because there may be several aspects of your plan that need updating.

The five most critical documents that an estate plan may include and that you should check are:

  1. Your durable power of attorney identifies who will be in charge of finances and legal issues when you are alive but are incapacitated and can’t make those decisions yourself.
  2. Your healthcare proxy will be in charge of your health decisions when you are unable to speak for yourself. If you have only named one individual, it may be beneficial to have backups to the principal agent. There are several ways to ensure that if the time comes, the individual you name will know how you would answer various questions related to the care and treatment you receive or would not want to receive.
  3. Having your HIPPA release signed and readily available can be incredibly helpful in a medical emergency.
  4. Your will can dictate how you want your assets distributed; it can appoint a personal representative to carry out your wishes after you pass on, it can outline what charitable donations you want, and it can appoint a guardian if you have minor children. Having the details in your will accurately describe your wishes is critically important.
  5. If your estate plan does not include a trust, you may examine the benefits of one, like probate avoidance, and decide that it makes sense to include a trust in your estate plan.

Speak to a Connecticut Estate Planning Lawyer Today 

If you have not reviewed your estate plan in some time, then the start of a new year may be a good time to take a look at it again.

For more help on estate planning in Connecticut, please reach out to and call the Connecticut estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Brian S. Karpe to schedule a free consultation at 860-217-1458.

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