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Tax Changes and Your Will, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


Whenever relevant tax laws change, it is important to update your will to reflect those changes, instead of relying on a court to make the changes for you.

Wills are not necessarily set in stone after someone passes away. Under some circumstances, probate courts are able to change a deceased person’s will. This is called “reforming the will.”

The use of the word “reform” gives a clue as to the purpose and limited scope of the changes a court can make. If the provisions of the will as written make it impossible to fulfill the clear intent of the deceased, then the court can change those provisions to fulfill the intent.

Reformation is rarely used, because it is difficult to divine the intent of someone who has passed away.

Some states do allow it for tax purposes, as Wealth Management discussed in “Reforming a Will for Tax Savings.”

The idea is this: if the intent is clear that the deceased wished to minimize the tax burden on the estate and the tax laws have changed since the will was drafted, then a will can be reformed to fulfill that intent.

However, people should not rely on the possibility that a court will use reformation for this purpose.

Instead when tax laws change, people should go back to their estate planning attorneys and update their wills to reflect the new laws. That ensures that their wills do fulfill their intent, which is better than relying on a court to decide whether the wills do or do not.

Changes to federal tax laws are expected soon.

Therefore, people should begin planning to update their wills in the near future, if the changes to the tax laws will have an impact on their estates.

Reference: Wealth Management (May 19, 2017) “Reforming a Will for Tax Savings.”

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce