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Why tax changes should prompt an estate plan review

Changes in tax law may present an opportune time for Ohio residents to meet with an adviser to review their estate plans. Even if people don't think that the tax law changes will mean anything to their estate plan, it is still worth going over it anyway. In some cases, individuals may find that their plan no longer meets their needs for reasons other than adjustments to the tax code.

One of the most important things to understand about the estate tax laws going forward is that the exemption has increased. For married couples, the combined federal exemption will be $22.4 million in 2018. This means that only the wealthiest families will have to pay any sort of estate tax. During a conversation with an estate planning professional, it may be a good idea to review plan documents.

This may increase the odds that they are customized enough to meet a person's needs. Married couples who are planning on porting their exemptions to the surviving spouse will need to declare this prior to their deaths. Ideally, an individual will meet with an estate planning professional every three years or the next time a major life event takes place.

Creating and reviewing an estate plan may make it easier for individuals to protect what is important to them. The use of wills or trusts contain language that guides the transfer of property after the owner has died. Other important documents that an attorney will often recommend include financial and health care powers of attorney that give a trusted agent the right to make certain decisions if the principal becomes incapacitated.

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