Q:

Is there anything that I can do if I realize that my parents’ estate plan is incomplete or outdated?

A:

If you know that your parent’s estate plan is outdated or it’s incomplete I encourage you to sit with them and take them to an estate attorney to either complete it or to correct it. There’s nothing worse than an estate plan that’s incomplete or has become broken because the assumptions that were used are no longer valid.

For example, I had a client frequently who had done a trust 21 years ago when they had one child. Now they had two children and those kids were in their twenties. One child was omitted completely. Clearly, the assumptions that they used when they created the trust were outdated and it was time to update the trust.

If you know that your parent’s plan is incomplete or is broken encourage them, take them, lead them, go to a qualified estate attorney and get it fixed.

Note: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law in December 2017 increased the exemption amounts mentioned in these videos. The personal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax lifetime exemption was increased to $11.18 million per person. The annual gift tax exclusion was increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

Both amounts are indexed for inflation and may increase year over year until December 31, 2025, when the law sunsets and reverts to 2017 values.