It appears the Ohio Estate Tax is really going to become a thing of the past. That tax was repealed for estates of individuals who die on or after January 1, 2013. You may refer to House Bill 153 of the 129th general Assembly for the legislation. Many outlets were actively reporting the repeal of the Ohio Estate Tax was almost a certainty for some time. Some prognosticators outside the media believed the lack of public awareness of the tax and the number of communities that benefited from the revenue would prevent repeal.
Many people are not aware 80% of the tax revenue from the Ohio Estate Tax goes to the local government where the decedent resided. It will be interesting to see how the more affluent communities that quietly received huge amounts of estate tax revenue deal with the absence of that revenue stream. The State of Ohio receives the other 20%. For a basic description of the Ohio Estate Tax in its current form, please see the news post on this site from February.
The short answer to this question is almost always “not necessarily.”
I have reviewed Wills, Trusts and other estate planning documents that required no changes despite the fact that they are “old” by most definitions of the word. It is smart to review your estate planning documents on occasion to make sure they still represent your wishes. They should also be checked to make sure they account for any changes you may have in your life since the time when the documents were executed. An estate planning “checkup” with the attorney of your choice is not a bad idea when it has been a while since you executed your documents. While you know the changes that have taken place in your life, the estate planning attorney may alert you to changes in the law that can impact your estate planning choices as well. When you do have estate planning documents executed for the first time or when you make changes, you should receive some type of letter from your estate planning attorney that reviews the things you discussed and the decisions you made. The letter should describe the thought process behind the decisions you made. If your attorney does not provide that type of service automatically, you should request such a letter. The letter may be kept with your documents so it can serve as a guide when you review the documents.
So, do you need to update your estate plan? Not necessarily. However, it doesn’t hurt to review it.