Welcome 2020! The New Year is a great time to review your Estate Plan!

Welcome 2020! The New Year is a great time to review your Estate Plan!


By: Tamara N. Squires, Esq.

The New Year brings a lot of expectation, hope and plans for resolutions. As we begin to live out the first few weeks of the long awaited new year, reviewing your estate plan (or getting your estate plan in order for the first time!) should be at the top of your list.

If you already have a plan in place, the beginning of the year is a good time to review the plan and look for any changes that may need to be made. Here is a list of some things to consider:

  •  GST Exemption rises from $11.4 million in 2019 to $11.58 million in 2020.
  • Annual Exclusion for present interest gifts stays at $15,000.
  • We are one year closer to the reversion of the Applicable Exclusion and the GST exemption which occurs in 2025. Those levels are set to revert to half their current levels, so if you are in excess of these amounts, now is the time to consider making transfers out of your estate.
  • If you have retirement accounts that pay to a trust, you may need to schedule an appointment with your estate planning attorney to review and possibly alter your trust. The SECURE Act goes into effect January 1, 2020 and puts an end to stretching distributions over the lifetime of trust beneficiaries other than spouses, with some exceptions. Instead, such accounts must be paid out no later than 10 years after the death of the account owner.
  • Who are your named successor trustees; have there been any changes in those relationships to warrant an alteration to your plan?
  • Do the provisions for distribution of assets still accurately reflect your desires?
  • Who are your financial and health care agents? Do they need to be updated for any reason?
  • Have you bought or sold property since the last time you updated your estate plan?
  • Do you have any specific gifts that are not reflected in your current plan, but need to be?
  • Have there been new births in your family? Deaths? Marriages or divorces?

The items listed above should trigger a review of your estate plan. Should you have questions or need to make changes so your desires are more accurately stated, please give us a call.

Tamara N. Squires, Esq. Hyatt McIntire & Associates

Hyatt McIntire & Associates