As you count down the days to the New Year, your focus is likely on celebrations and resolutions. However, there’s another important activity that should make your end-of-year checklist: an estate plan review.
Much like your annual physical or your yearly financial audit, an estate plan review is essential for your long-term well-being and that of your loved ones.
The Significance of Annual Reevaluation
Your estate plan isn’t static; it should evolve as your life does. Whether you’ve had changes in family dynamics, acquired new assets, or relocated, your existing estate plan may no longer be adequate. Conducting an annual review ensures that your estate plan aligns with your current wishes and circumstances.
Advance Directives Deserve Your Attention
While preparing for your estate plan review, don’t forget to look at your advance directives for health care. These include your living will and your durable power of attorney for health care or health care proxy.
If you do not have these documents in place, a living will specifies your choices regarding life support, whereas a durable power of attorney for health care designates someone to make medical decisions for you in areas not related to life support.
These are distinct documents serving unique purposes. Make certain they are current, and that your designated agent is still the right choice for your needs.
A Living Trust Is Not Set and Forget
Incorporating a living trust into your estate plan can be a wise choice for a number of reasons. You can amend or even restate this type of trust after it has been created, so you can make changes if you see something that should be updated while you are reviewing your plan.
Time to Revisit Beneficiary Choices
Your beneficiary designations don’t solely reside in your will. Financial assets like life insurance policies, some banks and brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts also have named beneficiaries. Ensure these are up-to-date and align with your broader estate plan. If there’s a discrepancy, your estate plan might not be executed as you intend.
Consult an Expert for Peace of Mind
Though there are plenty of do-it-yourself options for estate planning, consulting an estate planning attorney is invaluable. As you look towards the new year, resolve to work with an attorney to tighten up your existing plan of put an initial plan in place.
Conclusion: Start the Year Off Right
The New Year is synonymous with new beginnings. What better way to embrace this fresh start than by ensuring your estate plan is in top-notch shape? By scheduling an annual review, you provide yourself and your loved ones with the gift of clarity and peace of mind.
So, as you draft your New Year’s resolutions, prioritize your financial and emotional well-being by adding an estate plan review to your list. It’s not just smart planning; it’s a commitment to your future and the security of those you care about. Don’t delay—make your estate plan review a must-do as you welcome the New Year.
Attend a Free Seminar!
We conduct seminars on an ongoing basis that deliver all of the answers that people are looking for when they start to think about the sometimes confusing estate planning process. There is no charge to attend the sessions, and it’s a great opportunity to make an initial connection with our firm.
Though there is no admission charge, we ask that you register in advance so we can reserve your spot. To see the dates and obtain more information, head over to our Los Angeles, California estate planning seminar page.
Need Help Now?
Our firm can help if you would like to schedule an estate plan review or put your first plan in place. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 310-677-9787.