Estate Planning and Tax Season: What You Need to Know

As we move past tax season, it is an apt time to think about the crossover between estate planning and tax filing. For many individuals, filing taxes can bring up important questions about updating an estate plan. On today’s blog, we review some of the advantages of using tax season as a springboard for revising your estate planning documents. As always, with fact-specific questions, we recommend you contact a Houston estate planning attorney to talk through your personalized goals and priorities.

There are a few reasons that tax season is one of the best times to review your estate plan. First of all, filing taxes gives you a full picture of your assets, debts, and income. The momentum you gain by gathering the necessary documents and imputing financial information allows you to consider whether your estate plan might be outdated.

Secondly, a change in your financial status means that your estate planning documents should also change. If you’ve acquired a new home, for example, you’ll want to add a provision to your will about who you’ve chosen as the beneficiary. If you’ve come into an inheritance, you’ll have to write out a plan for how that money will be distributed to your loved ones. Adding this information into your tax submissions can trigger a reminder to add the information to your estate plan.

Finally, many tax experts are also knowledgeable about estate planning, and vice versa. The gap between wealth management and estate planning is growing smaller over time, meaning many professionals are becoming adept at offering advice in both arenas. Tax season is therefore a good time to ask for professional guidance regarding your estate plan.

In general, it is prudent to update your estate plan every 3-5 years, or when there is a change in your life circumstances. Regardless, it is always smart to know the details of your estate plan and to communicate with your loved ones about how your estate plan will take effect once you are gone. By staying on top of your planning, you can make sure you set up your executor and beneficiaries for success down the road.

Have You Found Your Houston Estate Planning Attorney?

At McCulloch & Miller, we have over 35 years of experience providing legal services to Texans as they make their estate plans. At the end of the day, it can feel daunting and time consuming to update documents and gather necessary information, but by investing in the process now, you can make things much easier in the long term. If you have doubts about whether updating your estate plan in the right call, contact a trusted, experienced Houston estate planning attorney that can explain the process to you and help you figure out if now is the right time.

If you are on the lookout for a Houston estate planning attorney for you or a family member, contact us at McCulloch & Miller by calling 713-955-7281. If you prefer, you can also fill out our online form to have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible regarding your case.

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