It is essential to review your living trust from time to time. There is no hard and fast rule on how often to review your living trust, but we recommend every five years because finances fluctuate, family situations evolve and laws change. To help guide you through this process, we have put together the below checklist to assist you in reviewing your living trust. If you don’t yet have a living trust, you may want to think about putting your affairs and wishes in writing by way of a trust so your next of kin aren’t left in a vulnerable position.
- Have there been any major life changes?
- Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce
- Have all asset transfers into the trust been completed?
- Real property
- Bank and credit unions
- Business interests
- Security accounts, stocks, bonds
- Does your living trust include a Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive?
- Does your Trust and Power of Attorney include provisions that allow incapacity to be determined by persons you know and trust instead of the court or physicians?
- Is your chosen successor trustee still available, able and willing to serve in that role?
- Are your beneficiary designations on life insurance, annuities and pension plans consistent with your overall estate plan?
- Have you named a minor as a beneficiary?
- There are protections available to ensure their gift is deferred until a later age.
- If you have minor children, does your Will name guardians for those children? Are those guardians still the best choice?
- Do you have a pour-over will that leaves everything to the trust in case an asset is not transferred into your trust during your lifetime?
Determining if your estate plan still works for you is personal to your situation. Be aware that circumstances inevitably change over time and how your trust