Refresh your estate plan to reflect any changes from the past year
A lot can happen over the course of the year personally, professionally, and financially. Before you know it, the New Year has begun and your estate plan is completely out of date. Don’t get caught tackling New Year’s resolutions without tying up loose ends from the previous twelve months first.
10 Estate Planning Items to Review Before the Ball Drops
1. Retirement account beneficiaries are current and up-to-date
It’s easy to forget that all investment and bank accounts call for a named beneficiary. Go through each account under your name and check the beneficiary section to make sure you’re not leaving any money to a deceased relative or ex-spouse.
2. Life insurance beneficiaries are current and up-to-date
Update beneficiary forms for all life insurance policies under you and your spouse’s name. If you have new children or new private debt, consider purchasing a life insurance policy to protect them from the risk of your death.
3. Update your financial power of attorney
Name someone to manage your finances in the event you are unable. A financial power of attorney pays bills and signs your name if you become incapacitated. Make sure to appoint a trustworthy and responsible party to handle these matters.
4. Guardians for children are to your liking
Review your will to update the named guardians of your children. Designate a legal guardian for any minor children that need temporary or permanent care if you die or become incapacitated.
5. New properties are moved to a trust
Consider transferring any new or existing property ownership to a trust. Setting up a revocable or irrevocable trust for large assets and owned property can reduce the time and costs associated with the probate process.
6. Living will is current and up-to-date
New or existing medical conditions may call for an update in your living will. This document protects you and your family if you become incapacitated and need to seek medical attention.
7. Name your healthcare power of attorney
Your healthcare power of attorney can step in to make medical decisions on your behalf, specifically when the issue isn’t covered in your living will.
8. Prepare planned gifting
Gifting helps you enjoy the estate planning process by giving financial assistance to your loved ones while saving money on taxes.
9. New and existing business ventures need an estate plan
Make a plan for how new or existing business ventures will be succeeded if you are unable to operate them. Businesses need an estate plan just as much as individual estates do.
10. Meet with your attorney
If you need to make significant changes to your estate plan due to any of the above items, schedule a meeting with your estate planning attorney.
Anselmo Lindberg & Associates has an entire team attorneys ready to walk you through the estate planning process. Interested in learning more? Please contact us for your free consultation.