A proper estate plan can protect you and your family in the event of illness, accidents or untimely death. With just a little advanced planning, we can help your family avoid wasted dollars and unnecessary hardship.
Even if you have an estate plan in place, it should be reviewed on a regular basis. Congress, state legislatures and the courts are constantly changing the rules on estate-planning. In fact, there have been several major estate and income tax law changes in recent years. Depending on your circumstances, an out-of-date estate plan might be missing valuable planning opportunities and could cost your family in extra taxes and administration costs.
Do you have an estate plan in place? Is it covering all your bases? Take a look at the checklist below. If you can answer “no” or “I don’t know” to any of the following, you should set up an appointment with your estate planner as soon as possible.
- Do you have a will or trust in place? If so, has it been professionally reviewed within the last three years?
- Does your current estate plan provide creditor and lawsuit protection for assets passed to your surviving spouse and/or children?
- Does your current health care Power of Attorney permit the person of your choosing to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so?
- Is your Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management current? If not, many banks will not accept an older document.
- Have you taken steps to avoid possible will contests and disputes during the administration of your estate?
- Are you satisfied with the persons you’ve named as guardians of your minor children in your estate plan?
- If you have a revocable living trust in place as part of your estate plan, is your trust fully funded so your family can avoid the delays and expenses of probate? (Probate is the court process by which a court order is obtained to transfer your assets to your loved ones if you do not have beneficiaries on them or if your assets are not properly titled in the name of your living trust.)
- Does your estate plan protect your children’s inheritance in the event your surviving spouse chooses to remarry?