Is Your Estate Plan Ready for the New Year?

Estate

Is Your Estate Plan Ready for the New Year?

These simple questions can help make sure your estate plan is ready to ring in 2017.

December 12, 2016

With the new year in sight, it's a good time to make sure your estate plan reflects any life changes and legal decisions you made throughout the last twelve months. These few simple questions are a great place to get started in making sure your estate plan is up to date.

Have you had any recent life changes?

Events like marriages, divorces, births, adoptions, relocations, deaths, and acquisitions of sudden wealth may have affected your overall goals and who you'd like as named beneficiaries. Make sure that your plan represents your wishes in light of these changes. 

Are your assets still going where you intend?

Is your personal representative and/or trustee going to be an individual or a corporate institution? Who do you want to ultimately receive your trust/will assets?

Who should handle your important affairs?

In the event of your incapacitation, who should attend to your financial and business matters? Review the financial power of attorney designations laid out in your plan. Is financial power of attorney presently excercisable, or becoming exercisable only if you're unable to handle your own affairs? Does this decision still align with your wishes?

Have you reviewed your healthcare power of attorney and living will?

This could be one or two documents, depending on what state you live in. Updating a beneficiary does not automatically carry over to insurance and retirement plans, so check that these documents reflect any of the other updates you've made.

As you're checking off items on your New Years to-do list, be sure that updating your estate plan is one of them. Talk to your financial advisor and a legal professional about questions you have and updates you'd like to make.



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