There are some things that you put in place and simply leave alone, but estate plans are definitely not among them. It would be accurate to assert that estate planning in an ongoing process that continues throughout your life rather than being a one-time event. For those who have not yet engaged in setting up their initial plan there is a foundation that needs to be built, and some aspects of this foundation may remain in place over time. But things can and do change, and the things that happen around you can often create the need for revisions in your original estate plan.
When you break it down, the typical estate plan revolves around two primary concerns: potential medical matters pursuant to aging, and the proper positioning and ultimate distribution of financial assets. To address the elder care component, who can predict the future? Health is something that is an ongoing unknown, and the reality as it stands in your life today can radically change overnight from a medical perspective. So when you are putting an estate plan in place, it is important to realize that you may well have to alter certain aspects of it based on the unfolding state of your health.
It is clear that health is an unpredictable wild card, but what about the economy? You may sit down and work up an estate plan based on the economic realities on that day, but as we all know markets fluctuate second by second, and new legislation that can impact your estate is enacted all the time. You have to react to the changing landscape as it applies to your estate plan, and your own family dynamic is likely to shift as well and that too is something that you always have to keep in mind.
Devising an initial estate plan is a starting point, but the long term planning is a process that is driven by life changing events and shifting societal dynamics.
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