December 31 is quickly approaching, and many people use this time as an opportunity to reflect on the year that is nearly complete. These reflections may include new additions, losses, accomplishments or struggles. One way, though, in which your year-end reflections can provide significant value is by reviewing those changes in your life that have potential impacts on your estate plan, and ensuring that your plan is current, reflecting your life and goals as they now exist. If it has been more than three years, we recommend that you undertake a review of your plan.
Perhaps you’ve married, divorced, lost a loved one to death, gained a new family member or reconnected or reconciled with a long-lost loved one. Many people may recognize the need to update a will or trust to change their asset distribution provisions consistent with their new state of your affairs. Be aware, though, that this is not the only part of your plan that requires consideration. Your plan also includes successor trustees of your trusts and executors of your will. Are the people you named to those important roles when you signed your documents still the ones you prefer to perform those tasks?
Additionally, your plan likely includes a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, a living will and perhaps other documents. Each of those documents names persons or entities who hold a special position of trust, regarding the management either of your wealth or your health care. As with your trustees and/or executors, you should consider whether the ones you’ve named are still your preferred agents.
Looking Back… and Forward: How To Go About Giving Your Estate Plan a Year-End ReviewRead More »