Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario from Steve Shane – 2.17.14

Estate PlanningQuestion:  How often should we review our estate plan? Answer:  I typically recommend to most of my clients review their estate plans every 3-5 years.  Certainly this rule of thumb needs to be modified as circumstances change (e.g., extraordinary life events). There are some who execute one Will and will never take it out again.  Others, constantly review and revise. Executing a Will and never updating can lead to a situation where those who are deceased, divorced, estranged or otherwise can inherit property which was never intended.  On the other hand, executing a Will based on the latest emotional drama of the family can mean that the last person in the family that was friendly towards the decedent at the decedent’s end of life may end up as the beneficiary. As you can see, either way can prove to be troublesome. Unless undue influence or fraud can be proved, typically the last validly executed Will of the decedent controls.  If there has been a major life event, it is likely a good time to review the estate plan.  In any case, it is important to make sure your Will, Power of Attorney and Health Directive state what you intend for them to state and that each document is validly executed as required under local law. Steven E. Shane Principal Offit│Kurman Attorneys At Law 301.575.0313 Washington 410.218.9339 Mobile 301.575.0335 Facsimile Please note the above material discussed is intended to provide only general information. Do not, under any circumstances, solely rely on this information as legal advice. Legal matters are often complicated. For assistance with your specific legal problem or inquiry please contact me directly.