You Should Review Your Estate Plan About Every 3 Years


Richard Morgan, Morgan and Disalvo.

We believe the best practice is that you should review your estate planning about every three years. Not exactly, but in that ballpark. Now, why should you do that? Well, for number one, a lot of things change either in the tax law, in your financial situation, family situation. It’s good to sit down with an estate planner and just review your plan, see if anything’s changed, and see if the plan still makes sense to you, if you want to change something. Most of the time there are three year reviews, there really aren’t any changes that need to be made. However, there are two documents which you should, best practices say that you should update those about every three years. Those are the two agency documents. One, financial power of attorney and two, in Georgia, what we call the advanced directive for healthcare.

The healthcare one isn’t quite as important, because doctors want to be able to talk to an agent, so they kind of let those things get older before they start having a problem accepting them. But with the financial power of attorney, it’s a much bigger deal. If a financial institution, you present that power of attorney to a financial institution, you’re there to help someone else. They may say, why are you here and what do you want? And you’d say, well, I’m here to help this person. I have this document. And they say, well, we didn’t sign that document. Leave. So you would like that document to be pretty young, not old, because the younger it is, the closer it is to when you actually need it, the financial institution believes that that’s your current intent.

From their perspective, they don’t want to get in the middle of a fight. They don’t want someone to use that document to abuse you, so you just want to make sure that it’s not too old. Also, under Georgia law, the power of attorney documents have changed. The law changed in 2017. The documents are way more powerful. They need to be signed a particular way. You have to use particular forms, so you probably would want to go ahead and make sure you get the updated form, and then again, keep it updated about every three years.

Richard Morgan, Morgan and Disalvo.

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