Few Georgia residents enjoy planning for how their estate will be handled after they pass away. However, revisiting existing wills, trusts and other estate planning documents is an ongoing need and something that should be attended to every other year or so. Without those periodic reviews, it's easy to miss changes in estate law that could cost a family a significant amount.
Most discussions about reviewing estate plans focus on factoring in changes within the family structure. For example, a new birth or death would alter the distribution of assets and require an update to the existing documents. However, changes in the law can also alter how estates are handled.
Take, for instance, the issue of the recent increase in estate exemptions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the exemption to $10 million. However, those changes are temporary. In 2026, the exemption will revert back to $5 million. That will put many families at risk of higher taxation if they don't take steps to reduce their taxable estate prior to 2026.
This is only one way in which the recent legislative changes have altered the tax obligations for Georgia residents. Working with a skilled estate planning attorney is essential to staying abreast of changes that could seriously impact a family's tax outlook. By reviewing wills, trusts and power of attorney documents, families can ensure that their plan remains in line with their wishes for how the estate will be handled when the time comes. Fortunately, once a solid estate plan is in place, periodic reviews take very little time and effort.