Wills created more than 10 years ago could be out of date

Many Nevada residents may be under the impression that once the documents are executed, their estate plans do not need any further attention. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Wills created more than 10 years ago could be woefully out of date, and their provisions could end up costing individuals thousands of dollars in taxes.

One of the most significant changes in federal law in the last decade has to do with the federal estate tax exemption. On Dec. 17, 2010, that amount was raised from $1 million to $5 million. For 2015, the exemption is $5.43 million per couple. This change alone could drastically change a Nevada resident’s estate planning needs, since this substantial increase eliminated federal estate tax for a significant number of people.

On Jan. 2, 2013, married couples were provided a way to get even more bang for their buck from this exemption. A surviving spouse is now allowed to take what is called the portability election. This change allows any unused portion of the deceased spouse’s exemption to be added to the surviving spouse’s exemption.

The changes discussed above essentially eliminated the need for certain, more-complicated, estate planning documents. Other changes in estate planning laws may also affect the estate plans of thousands of Nevada residents. In addition to the ability to take advantage of changes in the law, wills, trusts and other documents need to be reviewed periodically to ensure they still meet an individual’s expectations and account for any major life changes, such as deaths, births and changes in marital statuses.

Source: Forbes, “Why Your Will May Be Out Of Date“, Dan Prebish, April 28, 2015

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