Farm Progress

You can change your estate plan as your situation and goals change.

March 28, 2017

1 Min Read

By Carolyn Thompson

Estate planning isn’t like many of the other one-shot situations you might have in your life.

It isn’t like the one shot you have to bag a buck before your deer tag expires.

It isn’t like the one shot you have to buy the farmland you have been renting for years.

With estate planning, you get more than one shot. Tax laws, family circumstances and your goals will change. You can change your estate plan, too, so long as you are competent to do so.

But what if you die? Certainly no changes can be made to your estate plan then, right?

Not so. A “limited power of appointment” allows the surviving spouse to amend within certain parameters the estate plan of a deceased person.

This tool isn’t used in every plan. Not everyone wants to leave such flexibility to a surviving spouse. However, limited power of appointment can prove very beneficial in some situations.

Occasionally, I meet people who want to hold off estate planning until they know how life will unfold. But death can come before a plan is finalized. Waiting for the “the best,” or what you perceive is “the best,” may leave your family with nothing.

I challenge you to recognize the areas of your life where you truly only have one shot. Are you ready for them?

And be thankful for the things in your life that are not limited to one shot. Do not miss an opportunity to restore a relationship, clarify a business deal and, of course, refine your estate plan to meet your goals.

I would hate to see your tag expire before you take that shot.

Thompson, founder of Thompson Law, Sioux Falls, S.D., is an estate planning attorney. Contact her at [email protected] or 605-362-9100 or visit

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