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Amending Your Estate Plan: What You Need to Know

Estate planning is a dynamic process that evolves with changes in your life, the law, and industry knowledge. If you’re considering amending your estate plan, it’s essential to understand the right steps to take.

Why amend your estate plan?

There are typically three main reasons, often referred to as the three Ls:

  1. Changes in law: Tax codes and estate laws can change, affecting your estate plan.
  2. Changes in life: This includes changes in health, finances, and relationships with family members.
  3. Changes in learning: New best practices or strategies might benefit your estate plan as the elder law industry evolves.

The proper way to amend

  1. Consult with an elder law attorney: Before making any changes, consult a professional. They can guide you on the best steps based on your specific situation and the current legal landscape.
  2. Avoid DIY changes: Do not simply strike out parts of your estate plan or add handwritten notes. These might not be legally valid and can create confusion or disputes later.
  3. Adhere to formal requirements: Like with the original estate plan, any amendments must adhere to the formal legal requirements of your jurisdiction. This often includes having witnesses and notarization.

Wrapping up

Amending your estate plan is a significant step. Ensuring that any changes are legally valid and reflect your current wishes and circumstances is essential. Always work with a professional to ensure your estate plan is accurate and effective.
For more insights into estate planning and elder law, we’d love to see you at an upcoming workshop or check out our Elder Law Academy to learn about important legal matters from home at your own pace.

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