The New Year is right around the corner. For most of us, this means spending more time with family, thinking about the future, and setting resolutions. Whether your goal is to improve your health, change your job, or spend more time with your kids, there is not a one-size-fits-all resolution. Instead, it is about making the changes and improvements you wish to see in your life.
With that said, the one New Year’s resolution that should be on everyone’s list is to check-in on estate planning. If you do not have estate planning right now, your main goal should be to create one. A comprehensive estate plan can protect you and those you love most in the event of a crisis. Advance Directives, such as the Durable Power of Attorney, can ensure you have someone to make your decisions in the event you are incapacitated. Other testamentary documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, can create your legacy by detailing who you want to inherit from you when you are no longer here.
If you do have estate planning documents in place, the New Year is a great time to re-evaluate them and ensure they can do what you want them to do. Things change over time and your current estate plan may no longer be a true reflection of your wishes for yourself, your family, and your legacy. Let us highlight a few areas that you may need to revisit in your estate plan in the coming year.
- Personal Updates. Things change in our lives. There may be, at any time, births, deaths, re-marriages, divorces, and adoptions. Your estate plan needs to be able to contemplate all of these changes. There may come a point, however, when your estate plan needs to be updated to reflect a current understanding of how you wish to create your legacy. Do not wait to speak with your attorney about your personal updates to ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes.
- Financial Updates. Your finances may also change at any time. For most of us, our goal is to ensure that our spouse, children, and other family members are protected from any form of crisis. This may include leaving them with enough money so that they do not have to worry about the future. Make sure that your estate plan is updated to reflect your current financial structure. Do not wait to talk to your estate planning attorney about how you can structure your finances through your planning to ensure that your family is protected now as well as able to create a legacy for the future.
- Legal Updates. In addition to your personal and financial changes, do not forget that the law may have changed since you created or last updated your estate plan. Ask your estate planning attorney to keep you abreast of changes that could impact you and your legacy. Beyond these updates, make time during the year to routinely meet with your attorney to ensure your plan is not impacted by changes to the law.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Do not wait to contact us to discuss your estate planning goals as well as the legacy you want to leave to your family. We look forward to talking to you now and in the New Year.