It is critical that Iowa residents create an estate plan and review it every two to three years. Additional evaluations may need to be performed after the birth of a grandchild or other major life events take place. Creating an estate plan can help surviving family members adjust to the loss of a loved one and better understand what to do with that person’s assets. This may reduce the possibility of conflicts between family members when attempting to settle an estate.

It may be beneficial to create either a revocable or irrevocable trust as part of a comprehensive plan. An irrevocable trust may be ideal for those who want to protect assets from creditors. However, a revocable trust may be best for a person who wants to maintain greater control of his or her assets while alive.

It is important to have regular conversations with beneficiaries. Doing so may help them better understand why an estate plan is structured the way that it is. Ideally, family members will know who the executor is or who is serving as a trustee. Depending on what a person’s needs are, it may be a good idea to create an estate plan with the help of an attorney.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan may have many benefits for individuals and their families both now and into the future. An estate planning attorney may help an individual learn more about the potential tax benefits of creating a trust or making gifts prior to his or her death. Legal counsel may also be able to review existing documents to ensure that they were created in accordance with state law.