Tax Season and Estate Planning Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

It’s that time of year again. Whether you do you taxes yourself or get the help of a professional, it’s important to be organized. Sifting through receipts and government forms is just the tip of the iceberg. Tax season is also an excellent time to review your estate plan to make sure everything is in order. You’re already noting any significant life changes in your filing status, so why not apply those changes to all your important documents? Any major adjustments in your life may mean it’s time to update your Will or other estate documents. Below are a few examples that could trigger a review of your estate plan.

Increased Income

Did your salary increase significantly from last year? Lucky you! You may want to consider creating a trust to establish funds for a future purpose such as paying for a grandchild’s education. Trusts can also be used to help support charities or hold that new vacation home. There are a variety of trusts that can fit into an estate plan, even one for your fur babies.

Acquired Assets

Did you finally save up enough money to buy that lake house you always wanted? Make sure you include your new weekend getaway home in your estate plan. If it’s something you’d like to keep in the family for years to come then include it in your Will or consider a Trust. That will ensure that your assets and property will go to the people you want to inherit from you.

Shifted Status

If you filed a joint tax return last year, but now find yourself filing on your own because of a divorce or death, or maybe the reverse because you got married, don’t forget to update your estate plan too. Without proper documents in place, the wrong person could have decision-making privileges if you should become incapacitated or pass away.

Many of the same life changes that affect your tax returns can also impact your estate plans, so now is a good time to review your Will and other documents to be sure they still reflect your wishes.