Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Will review: bad news and good news

How do you hold on to will appointments when your institution has been acquired by Engulf & Devour Bank and Trust? If you are now working for E&D, today's Wall Street Journal item [emphasis added] reminds you to wrestle with that question:

It's probably time to revise your will. In January, the federal estate-tax exemption jumps to $2 million per person, from $1.5 million this year. What's more, some states have different estate-tax exemptions. But many wills don't take into account possible changes in federal and state estate-tax rules.

Check with a lawyer to make sure the language in your estate plan still applies with new exemptions. If some plans aren't adjusted, you could, say, inadvertently leave little to your spouse or face an unexpected state tax hit.

Many people's wills also don't reflect their current inheritance wishes because of a major life change.
And if a bank or trust company is the executor of your estate, you might have a new executor due to consolidation in the banking industry. Make sure you trust that executor's judgment.

The good news? If you're with a local institution, you have some will-appointment harvesting to do.

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