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2015 New Year's Resolution: Create or Update Your Estate Plan

The holidays are officially over and with the arrival of a new year, you've been given a blank slate to achieve exciting goals and resolutions. Whatever you hope to accomplish in 2015, it is never too early to put your estate plan at the top of the list.

If you already have an estate plan in place, excellent! This could be the perfect time to make valuable adjustments. Haven't yet drawn yours up? No problem. There is no time like the present to get your assets in order and plan for the impending future.

What if I don't have an estate plan?

It seems like each year passes faster than the last and you never know what tomorrow holds. Going without an estate plan takes the control out of your hands and puts it into the hands of the court. Your assets, property, and especially children deserve the best care possible.

Estate plans aren't just for those with a great deal of wealth. You've worked hard for what you do have and it's important that you have the final say-so of where it goes after you pass on. In your estate plan, you can put the future in writing, such as what happens if you become incapacitated, who gets your assets, and who will act as your estate administrator.

Your attorney can help you draw up your estate plan and ensure that every aspect is in line with California laws.

I already have an estate plan – now what?

The date on which you signed your estate plan will determine if and how you should make updates. Any documents signed in the 80s or 90s should be looked at by you attorney. There are many changes that have occurred since then and your documents should reflect that.

Documents signed between 2000 and 2009 might also be due for a refresher. Most importantly, the federal estate tax exemption rose from $675,000 to $3,500,000, which will certainly change your estate plan.

You may assume that if you signed your estate plan between 2010 and 2012, you're off the hook, but don't count yourself out quite yet. The IRS overhauled federal estate taxes, gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Portability also became available. Without an update, your estate plan could be sorely affected by all the recent changes.

Regardless of the year you signed your estate plan, it is always worthwhile to review your documents. You never know what changes could impact your assets and failing to make updates can result in an ineligible estate plan.

Our firm makes it easy for you to fulfil this all-important New Year's resolution. Call The Woodbury Law Office today to speak with a Sacramento estate planning attorney and get 2015 started off on the right foot.

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