Five Reasons You Should Be Reviewing Your Estate Plan Now

By David Stork, Wealth Director, Bryn Mawr Trust

Dealing with your estate plan is often not front of mind, but it is very necessary.  Below are five reasons you should consider reviewing your estate plan now.

  1. Changes in Family Circumstances: There are a number of changes in family circumstances that would prompt urgency in reviewing your estate plan. Getting married or divorced, having a child, a health issue, moving to a new state or the death of a loved one are top reasons to review your estate plan.

    Of these, having a child is usually top of mind. Updating your estate plan after having a child allows parents to address wishes as to who will be responsible (guardian) for the care of their minor children and how the finances will be handled in the event of your premature death.1 This will help ensure that your wishes for your estate disposition are in line with your goals. 

  2. Changes in Financial Circumstances: Coming into a large sum of money, whether it be an inheritance, a sale of an asset, or even a large lottery win, is a great reason to review your estate plan. These types of windfalls will prompt a review of your estate plan to ensure the disposition is in line with your wishes.

    In addition, and depending on the size of the windfall, a review of your estate plan will help make sure that your estate plan is structured in a tax-efficient manner.2 This helps ensure that you are taking advantage (or at least are educated on) of all tax strategies to minimize the possible tax impact.

  3. You Own a Business: A family business is often the largest asset an individual has. It is also often a very personal asset that the founder has put their blood, sweat, and tears into growing. Making sure that your estate plan addresses the continuity of the business in the event of your demise is a good idea.3 This will help to ensure that the business is run by whom you feel is best capable to continue running it or transitioning it.

  4. Changes in Tax Laws: Tax laws change and as a result, this presents a good opportunity to review your estate plan, making sure that your estate plan is structured in the most tax-efficient way. This is most concerning now as the provisions of the 2017 tax-cut law are expiring at the end of 2025. The expiration of this act will increase income taxes and reduce estate tax exemptions without any further congressional action.4 For individuals with large balance sheets or flexible income, there may be an opportunity to take advantage of current tax laws that could save you and your family significant tax dollars.

  5. Passage of Time: Clients may address their estate plan when they first get married, but then never look at it again. It is also not uncommon for clients who have built up substantial balance sheets to have wills that are 20 or more years old (if they have one at all). It is good practice to review your estate plan regularly, usually every three to five years or so.5

There are several reasons to review your estate plan now. Reviewing your estate plan regularly will ensure your wishes are accurately reflected and legally upheld. Staying proactive and reviewing your plan regularly, will also allow you to have peace of mind knowing that your legacy will be managed according to your wishes.

About the Author – David Stork

David Stork is a Wealth Director with Bryn Mawr Trust serving the Central Pennsylvania team based in Hershey. David leads an advice-driven cross-functional group of wealth advisors, investment advisors, and relationship managers to deliver extraordinary client experiences. David’s career in the financial services industry spans more than 20 years. He has a high level of technical experience in estate, tax, and financial planning issues. He is a resident of Lancaster, PA.

This communication is provided by Bryn Mawr Trust for informational purposes only. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. No portion of this commentary is to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell a security or the provision of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Certain information contained in this report is derived from sources that Bryn Mawr Trust believes to be reliable; however, Bryn Mawr Trust does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assumes no liability for any resulting damages.

1 Should You Update Your Estate Plan If You Have a New Baby? (
2 How experts say to handle any windfall (
3 Estate Planning Considerations for Small Business Owners (
4 Tax planning for the TCJA’s sunset (
5 Will Changes – How to Amend Your Will | Trust & Will (

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