Importance of regular reviews of estate plans and wills

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2017 | Estate Planning

After Nevada residents sign their wills, it is important for them to review them regularly and to make changes when they need to do so. Tax laws are frequently revised, and people’s estate plans should be modified accordingly so that they can obtain the most benefits.

Kristi Noem, the congresswoman from South Dakota, famously tells the story of how her dad died when he was young in a farming accident. After he died, the Internal Revenue Service assessed estate taxes, leading to Noem’s moving home in an attempt to save the family farm. Recently, the court records from Noem’s family’s case were reviewed and showed that the family could have avoided the estate taxes if Noem’s father had simply updated his will.

Noem’s father drafted a will in 1976 that left half of his estate to his wife and the other half to a trust that was managed by his brothers. If he had updated the will before he had died, he could have taken advantage of the spousal exemption that was enacted after he had signed it, allowing his family to avoid estate taxes completely.

It is important for people to review their wills and other estate planning documents whenever they undergo substantial life changes such as new family members, divorces, remarriages and others. They should also periodically review these documents with their attorneys simply to check whether changes in the tax or other laws might necessitate revisions to their estate plans. Estate planning attorneys can assist in this regard by also reviewing the documents and drafting the appropriate documents.